The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences honored Frank Rainieri, president and CEO of Grupo PUNTACANA, with their prestigious Personal Achievement Award. The award recognizes his work as a pioneer and leader in the development of sustainable tourism in the Dominican Republic.
Owners and operators of the PUNTACANA Resort & Club, Grupo PUNTACANA was established in 1969 by Rainieri and New York attorney Ted Kheel. Over the past 40 years, Rainieri and his family have provided inspiration, leadership and enthusiasm for sustainable development that has made Punta Cana one of the most successful and popular resort destinations in the world.
“We are sincerely honored to be recognized by AAHS for our work in this field”, said Rainieri in a written statement. “When we began to develop the PUNTACANA Resort & Club over 40 years ago, the concept of sustainable tourism did not exist; our decisions were based on commonsense, our limited resources, and a deep respect for the Dominican Republic, its people, and incredible natural resources. We are very proud to now be considered leaders in this field and look forward to their continued implementation at PCRC.”
Sustainable tourism practices in PUNTACANA Resort & Club encompass both cultural and environmental programs and have, to date, included the creation of a school, clinic, a polytechnic university as well as the establishment of an eco reserve, eco foundation, water recycling programs, solid waste management initiatives and voluntourism packages for guests.