Sosua Changes

Dominican Today posted the article below this morning about a meeting that took place last week in Sosua. It is a subject that has been talked about for a long period of time and during the period that I was working in the area over 18 months ago, I heard the details first hand through someone very close to the governing authorities.

We have a number of happy owner/residents living in the town and others planning to move there, and it has been a venue for meet ups, so it would be interesting to hear some balanced opinions of persons committed and resident in the town and indeed the country about the changes outlined in the article below, rather than some of the repetitive commentary which can be found on other social media.

The vast majority at the well attended meeting were in favour of the changes. Are you?

Different sectors of the Municipality of Sosúa met in a community meeting convened jointly by the City Hall, the Economic and Social Council, the Ministry of Tourism ( Mitur ) and the Public Ministry, to publicize recent and future measures aimed at changing the image and repositioning of this family tourist destination in the Dominican Republic.

Andrés Pastoriza, the coordinator of the Economic and Social Council of the Municipality of Sosúa ( CESMS ), spoke of the need to implement changes to attract family tourism that has moved away from this beautiful coastal city in recent years, as a result of the negative image that has been projected on this location.

On the other hand, Ignacio Peña Grullón, deputy director-general of the Specialized Tourist Security Corps ( Cestur ), announced the strategy that has been carried out for the organization of the sector known as El Batey.

Next, Jakaira Cid, North Regional Director, Ministry of Tourism, spoke about the actions that ministry has recently carried out and the promising future that awaits Sosúa, once the required changes are implemented.

While, in the main words of the act, Ilana Neumann de Azar, municipal mayor, expressed her firm decision and commitment to promoting the necessary actions to achieve the goal of making Sosúa a prominent and attractive family tourist destination.

She also said, “I will not relent in my efforts to return to Sosúa the brightness that this community deserves.”

The mayor took the opportunity to thank the Mitur, the Public Ministry, Cestur and the National Police, for the support received so far.

She added, “I trust that these institutions will continue to give us their support to achieve the desired goals together.”

The aforementioned meeting was held at the Casa Marina Hotel in this city and was attended by a large audience, consisting of representatives of the main local economic and social sectors, including members of the Edilicio Council, businessmen, hoteliers, neighborhood councils , churches, education sector, sports groups, communicators, civil and military authorities and the general public.

The different topics discussed were widely debated and commented on by those present. It was appreciated that the vast majority of those present are in favor of the changes that are taking place and yearn for a better future for this laborious community endowed with beautiful beaches and natural resources. … a-tourism/

I found this article of interest.  I lived  8 years on the north coast and tried living in Sosua. I lasted 3 months as I hated the town after dark.

For me this is all good news!

Agreed, night time is not a place to be.

However on the question of tourism one thing which needs urgent attention are the flights into POP from Europe.  At present it's close to zero  Most flights go in to Punta Cana then SDQ  Ignoring the collapse of Thomas Cook 6 years ago there were many more flights from Germany & the UK What's happened  Now going int o SDQ or PUJ means a taxi ride of 4.5 & 5.5 hours respectively.


As a resident of Sosua, I don't see how they can attract families.  No sidewalks, crumbling existing sidewalks, no parking, giant holes where buildings used to exist, and a hair-brained plan to move all bars to a quiet residential section of downtown.  I love Sosua for all it's faults and scars, but a family destination seems so far fetched as to be laughable.  The prostitutes don't bother me or my wife, as we love people-watching, and the interactions between the ladies' and their clients is much more interesting than watching momma scold her kids for almost falling in an open pit.  We don't go out to the clubs at all, so whether they exist or not is not relevant to my every day living, but they do add a flavor to the town that would be missing should they all move.  That would leave a void for more Chinese clothing stores to open up, thereby squeezing the Dominican culture out even more.  Given the choice between nagging mommy tourists and colourful ladies looking for business, I'd take the ladies (figuratively, of course) every time.  But, an election is around the corner, and while I've only been here a year, I've learned that much talk and half-assed actions come into play during election time.  Let the circus begin!!

Well said...

Since i know Sosua and have been told the History of Sosua has this Town above 30 Years been a location for Individual Tourists and most of them came there because of the sex Tourism . I have seen the Streets of Sosua Full of Woman . The Pedro Clisante has been close to no passable with Car because of all the Woman on the Streets . The Corner Pedro Clisante  Dr Rosen has been the Place where everything has been bundled . One site The German Bar Bermuda Eck the other site Plaza Marinero and in front of it The Disco Moby Dick . This Corner has been famous for Years and even after Authorities did Close all Business in Sosua causing immense lost to also serious Business Owners without any scruples this corner did not loose his Name and importance in sosua and still you find there most "Streetlife" even if the Bar Bermuda Eck is gone . There have been so many intents to get the Woman of the Streets of Sosua but the Prostitution is like the Drug scene , never disappears where it has been ones established only changes his Way of operation . The Puerto Plata Area is and will be the most known Place for Sex tourism in the Dominican Republic and Government is not going to change that only change the Way of appearance ....... All a big Lie : Family destination? a Place where at the Beach the most nasty Woman and Streetsellers and Sanki Pankis do their Biz? come on ? Casa marina is an other Thing because there it is not such visual but the Woman before staying with their "friends" in small Hotels of Invidual Tourism now arrive with them and have a stay at a nice Resort. Things have changed?

I do believe Sosua has been uniquely unsuccessful to date in shaking off it's sordid reputation as being the main DR sex tourism destination.

I think it unfair to suggest that Puerta Plata is still known as a sex tourist destination and great efforts have been made to market the area better and there is an influx of quality resort investment coming as a result.

Zona Colonial has definitely changed and whilst there are still red light activities to be found in the area, it is much more discreet and not in your face and the tourists flock in.

Boca Chica too has changed and it is now more a distant suburb of Santo Domingo East than the sex tourism destination it was known to be. Now bar owners don't let the women come into their bars touting customers and the main street remains closed off at night and it is more relaxed with tables being served in the middle of the street. And when it comes to beaches the section near the Marina is much more Dominican than tourist and there is less hassle on the town beach. Still not perfect but getting better and a determined local authority pushing change.

Punta Cana and Samana have everything under control and fulfill the needs of all including family vacationers.

Establishments promoting seedy and often illegal behavior have been closed in Santo Domingo and Santiago.

Sosua central yet remains messy. As Uncle Bucks mentions it seems run down with damaged streets and properties. I really seems a very far cry from real Dominican life and quite rightly one wonders how it could ever attract family holiday makers in the short term, other than those that stay within the two all-inclusive resorts that also need makeovers. That other branded high end NY crowd hotel has closed too.

Yet outside Sosua central going east there are some really nice properties and seemingly good opportunities for development, but is never seems to happen even in much more liked Cabarete. Perhaps it is that reputation of the 'unruly neighbour' that stunts decent real estate development.

And in this country you do need buy in from middle class Dominicans in any resort area to work well too. And they won't touch Sosua with it's current reputation.

Something surely has to change. Maybe the elections next year will push start change even harder. Reason: influential people associated with local government and running for high office have strong ties to the town, want change and own property in Sea Horse Ranch.

Family tourism is likely some way off still after any changes.

Love it or hate it, Sosua has an unfortunate and now almost unique reputation amongst Dominicans and beyond which seems impossible to shed.

Interesting read. I would not disagree with your assessments! … turistico/

The article posted in the OP has made it's way to which is the official news outlet for MITUR, Ministry of Tourism. This would suggest this is officially supported now at the highest levels of government and it is more about how and when rather than whether now.

Thanks for updating us.

We do see women on the streets, and agree with Uncle Buck that it makes for delicious people watching. But I don't see women or men openly soliciting on the beach. And I have never seen any type of sex act, not even kissing for that matter, out on the streets. I did see a chick rubbing a dudes bald head once. That was a little weird.

I personally have no interest in Sosua becoming a family destination. I think it could be successful as an adult destination with a dedicated red light district.  And the vacant lots, broken sidewalks, and big holes seems to us to be a bigger problem than the girls.

Casa Marina was recently remodeled and a couple new hotels are being built. Let's not  give her up for lost quite yet. ❤️

On the beach, was never an issue  honey. It's always been pretty much everywhere in town.  A few years ago it was really bad, it's been cleaned up a lot.  I remember walking down the main Street at 7 pm and being solicited by women! 

Uncontrolled prostitution always draws other problems - drugs, robbery and physical violence.  That is a fact. 

Of course Sosua can become a family destination, why wouldn't it!  That beach is stunning, the town is cute! 

I agree 100% with issues of empty lots, bad sidewalks etc needing repairs!  That is an issue all over this country and especially important in tourist areas.

There seems to a significant push on to get some decent quality hotels established in the town now. … eef-sosua/ … les-sosua/

It looks like it is for real this time and all change in Sosua. … -en-sosua/

Sosúa Given the expiration of the term granted to establishments, the Municipality of Sosúa and the Prosecutor's Office of Puerto Plata closed 10 bars and discos, as part of the actions to deal with the uncontrolled prostitution that is exercised in this municipality.

The measure seeks to prevent it from being sold as a place for sex tourism. The City Council of Sosúa, through its Council of Councilors, approved Resolution number 17-2017 on Regulations and Land Use for Municipal Tourism Territorial Planning, with which several businesses were notified, which were located in Pedro Clisante Street . The closed establishments were, Diamond Club Lounge, Club 59, Meregue Bar, Bourbon Street, Platinium Disco Bar, Sosúa Light 2012 Bar, Blue Ice Piano Bar, Chez Mon Real, BBQ Grill Sports Center and Central Bar.

On warning

“What happened in Sosúa last night, specifically in El Batey, is a measure that has been working based on a plan for several years. What we wanted with this is to create a level of coexistence, where all sectors can develop without affecting the image of our city, ”said Ilana Newman, mayor of Sosúa. He said that the various representative sectors cannot allow this municipality to continue to be sold purely and simply as a sexual destination. Newman recalled that as a destination Sosúa has many attractions to offer tourism.

"What we do not want is that the room of our house, which is the entrance specifically the street of El Batey is a prostitution center and under no circumstances can we continue to give this ugly and terrible image of this city," said the mayor . The regulations granted a period of one year for their transfer to the area or block approved in the same resolution.

The deadline for business transfer has expired

The resolution was notified last year 2018, but that provision was not complied with and its deadline had expired. Although the resolution was notified a year and five months ago, according to the inspectors, only one of the offenders showed intention to apply to the municipal ordinance. Various sectors have denounced prostitution in that tourist area.

Looks like they are serious.

Dominican Today takes another angle on the news of the bar closures. Women trafficking and exploitation of minors being reasons to close and reduce prostitution in Sosua. … afficking/

Puerto Plata.- Judicial, police and tourist security authorities closed on Thurs. raided 11 night clubs linked to trafficking in women, as part of an operation that aims to reduce prostitution in the North Coast.

Among the closed centers, which are located in the El Batey sector, are Diamond Club Lounge, Club X, Merengue Bar, Bourbon Street, Club 59, Platinum Disco Bar, Sosúa Light 2012 Bar, Blue Ice Piano Bar, Chez Mon Real, BBQ Grill Sport Center and Central Bar.

The clubs located on Pedro Clisante street housed dozens of local young women and from other towns of towns offer sex to tourists staying in hotels in Sosúa and Cabarete.

The investigators also sought minors who were exploited by pimps, in addition to guns and drugs.

against the businesses led

Puerto Plata prosecutor Osvaldo Bonilla headed the raids accompanied by National Police and Tourism Security officers.

Frankly, there may be some indifference by those that have chosen Sosua as there home here about these closures, but the fact remains that Sosua and indeed the nearby North Coast is losing tourists year in year out and it is the lack of decent hotels in the area that is a huge drawback.

Investors were not going to put big money in to the newly planned resorts without a clean up. Visitors and tour operators can't find decent quality hotels in Sosua and Cabrete with sufficient rooms without being alongside sex tourist or having to pass a red light district on entering the town to justify a heavy sales pitch.

Sex tourism of this nature is a thing of the past and this will surely be a good move for a town that boasts good beaches and is close to many attractions and has a growing expat resident retirement community. To rid the town of women and their pimps originally from the interior of the country who are heavily into drugs and associated crime plus the large illegal Haitian contingent of whores should be a medium term gain along with a re-branding of the town once word gets out to the sex tourists and they move elsewhere.

DR has changed and sex tourism establishments have been and continue to be closed down throughout the country. Sosua should be grateful.

If cleaning up Sosua results in less expensive airfare to POP, I think it could be a good thing. None of us can predict the outcome. So many people complain about the lack of law, the difference in culture (as if another country should be just like the one you came from, smh) why not give it a chance and see if it works? If it does, it really could be the best of both worlds. Personally, I don't care if it is family friendly. My little kid days are over. And, I don't think it will ever be a Disneyland. But if these efforts to clean up Sosua physically as well as perceptually work, I think it would be beneficial for all. The girls still make money, the bars still make money, the other places have a chance to increase their traffic, and there are some new hotels. I look forward to seeing how it all shakes out.

It will be interesting for sure!

I don't think it will effect airfares though honey so don't hold your breath.  Needs a lot more then Sosua cleaning up to fix that!

A girl can dream can't she??

Oh yes, she can!!!!

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