Engineering Earth pp 1267-1281 | Cite as

Engineering Paradise: Marketing the Dominican Republic’s Last Frontier

  • Joseph L. Scarpaci
  • Korine N. Kolivras
  • William Galloway


Tourism and second-home residential developments continue to drive formal sector employment in the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic has been particularly aggressive in marketing tourist enclaves, beginning with the ambitious La Romana project in the 1970s and followed by exorbitant growth of the Punta Cana-Brava region at the eastern tip of Hispaniola. In the new millennium, an interesting alignment of global financiers, ranging from deposed Venezuelan presidents, Dominican banking and construction tycoons, and the ubiquitous Donald Trump, is developing the ambitious Cap Cana/Trump Farellones resort and second home city. The scale and breadth of the operation is surpassed only by the branding of supporters behind the project, from the New Yorker Donald Trump himself to Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, and to Oscar de la Renta crafted interior decorations. Buoyed by the successful Punta Cana Hotel and Resort that boasts residents like Oscar de la Renta and Julio Iglesias, as well as frequent visitors such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, the new Cap Cana/Trump Farellones development may possibly be the largest planned city in the circum-Caribbean basin since the Ciudad Guyana project of Venezuela in the early 1960s. The paper outlines the project, discusses the public-private partnerships that have been formed, assesses the images used in promoting the site, and documents the social and environmental impacts that have already surfaced. It concludes with an overview of labor and capital implications for the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and neighboring islands.


Real Estate Dominican Republic Tourism Development Hotel Room Fishing Village 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to acknowledge the American Geographical Society’s Bowman Expedition program Contract #GS-23F-0147L/W91QF4-06-F-0103 for partial support of this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph L. Scarpaci
    • 1
  • Korine N. Kolivras
    • 2
  • William Galloway
    • 3
  1. 1.Independent ScholarBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA
  3. 3.School of Architecture and Urban StudiesVirginia Tech UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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