The New Consolidated Barcelo Bavaro Complex in the Dominican Republic

Travel Agent arrived Monday for our coverage of the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE) and was welcomed by a new, fresher and less confusing Barcelo Bavaro Palace complex. We expect to see a major boost in bookings because of the new look and concept.

Basically, the previous complex that housed five resorts, all with different names and amenities, was pretty confusing not only to consumers but certain travel writers as well.

And now?

The complex reduced from five resorts to two - the Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe, which has roughly 1,600 rooms and the Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort, which has about 400 rooms and a conference center.

"We have heard nothing but good things about the changes," says Diana Daza, director of sales assistant for Barcelo. "I heard from guests that its so much easier for them. We've gotten a lot of great feedback on Facebook too. Many people have commented that the change was for the better."

As part of the consolidation, several buildings were knocked down while others were repositioned. One of the repositioned buildings is the now Barcelo Beach Resort, which is now an adults-only hotel. For children, the new Barcy Kids Club was built at the Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe as well as a new water park and disco club for teenagers. In total, the renovations to bring the smaller, but more effective, Barcelo complex to life came to about $50 million.

And, in Travel Agent's opinion, it was well worth it.

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for updates from DATE, which runs through April 19.

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