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Mourning Dominican Republic cruise champion Orfila Salazar

Orfila Salazar at Puerto Plata's Amber Cove Cruise Port with Tom Spina, one of her many global contacts and friends in the cruise world
Orfila Salazar, who was the smiling face of cruising for the Dominican Republic over decades, died in Santo Domingo after a brief hospitalization.

Her death was announced by the Ministry of Tourism.

Great professional, exceptional person

'The tourism industry lost a great professional in the cruise sector, but her family, friends and co-workers lost an exceptional human being,' Tourism Minister David Collado said.

Salazar, who headed the ministry's cruise department, spent more than 30 years promoting the Dominican Republic as a destination and working to improve operations, training and quality.


Orfila Salazar, third from left, was on hand for 2016 festivities at Amber Cove Cruise Port with leaders from Carnival Corp. & plc including CEO Arnold Donald, left, and Dominican tourism officials

She was a regular presence at industry events including those of Seatrade and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, and helped grow her country's cruise business to more ports and ever higher numbers.

Salazar received recognition for her accomplishments from the public and private sectors, including the Ministry of Women, the Dominican Port Authority, the Dominican Navy, Sans Soucí Ports and others. In April 2015, she was recognized by Carnival Cruise Line for her support for the development of Puerto Plata's Amber Cove Cruise Port.

Visitation was planned for Tuesday at the Blandino Funeral Home in Santo Domingo, with burial to take place at the Puerta del Cielo cemetery.