Safety in the Dominican Republic

Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic

Punta Cana in July, the Dominican Republic

Until recently, the Dominican Republic used to be considered a peaceful island attracting millions of tourists from all over the world throughout the year. However, just a couple of months ago, the headlines started mentioning the country’s name more and more often – in a negative context. TV and radio did not wait long to join the massive campaign of poorly grounded accusations against the world-famous touristic destination. The wave of panic overwhelmed thousands of tourists who decided to cancel their vacations or opt for other destinations.

Is it true that the Dominican Republic experiences an unprecedented wave of mysterious deaths of tourists at popular resorts? On the other hand, is it just a plot created by those who do not win from the island’s image of one of the leading touristic countries in the Caribbean? While many U.S. and Canada tourists are on the wave of panic, the Dominican Republic authorities bravely confront mass media accusations.

The Mass Media Raid

The mass media raid on the country started from a Facebook post of Mrs. Tammy Lanwrence-Daley, in which she shared her terrible vacation experience in Majestic Elegance Hotel. The victim claimed that she suffered from an attack of some criminal who attacked her during her stay at the hotel. Strangely enough, she decided to make her story public a few weeks after the incident. Moreover, the victim refused to cooperate with the U.S. Embassy or the police for them to investigate the case. However, she did asked the insurance company and the hotel to reimburse her for the damages. Whatever it was, still there is no unbiased verdict on this case.

Thus, how comes that this incident is affecting the reputation of the Dominican Republic as one of the leading touristic destinations of the Caribbean? Obviously, it has nothing to see with the country’s image as a whole.

Majestic Elegance Hotel in Punta Cana

Majestic Elegance Hotel in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic

However, it is not all. Soon after the case of Mrs. Tammy Lanwrence-Daley, one new user of Facebook also decided to share her Dominican vacation experience by publishing a picture of the legs covered with some bites. Although the bites look terrible and one may only feel pity for the victim, there is no reason to worry about the danger of being bitten by some alien insects on the tropical island.

  • Firstly, the author of the post herself claims that it is not the first time she experiences this skin reaction.
  • Secondly, the fauna of the Dominican Republic is not as varied as in Mexico, for example, and there is no risk of encountering any really dangerous species in resort areas unless regular mosquitos.
  • Thirdly, there are people who suffer from allergy attacks caused by various factors, including mosquito bites. However, they may suffer from allergy not only in the Dominican Republic, but anywhere in the world as well.

Thus, how comes that this incident is affecting the reputation of the Dominican Republic as one of the leading touristic destinations of the Caribbean? Obviously, it has nothing to see with the country’s image as a whole.

Nevertheless, lately, mass media found more reasons for accusations. Among them, there are several deaths of the U.S. citizens who passed away in the Dominican Republic under similar circumstances. Let us get a closer look at them.

  • “What We Know About the Dominican Republic Tourist Deaths” – by nytimes.com
  • “Hard Rock Hotel in Dominican Republic to remove liquor from minibars” – by nbcnews.com
  • “What’s Going On With Tourist Deaths In The Dominican Republic?” – by refinery29.com

The circumstances of all these deaths include alcohol and heart attacks. Does it mean Dominican hotels serve poor-quality alcohol to their guests? It might be the case; however, all the victims already had health problems, actually heart problems, before they came for vacation to the Dominican Republic. Moreover, the toxicology reports have not been published yet, and one may only think over various causes for these deaths. The heart attack is associated with a lot of different factors and may be triggered by the hot weather, hypertension and other circumstances.

Thus, how comes that this incident is affecting the reputation of the Dominican Republic as one of the leading touristic destinations of the Caribbean? Obviously, it has nothing to see with the country’s image as a whole.

However, as a result of all these incidents, the mass media started a raid on the country’s peaceful way of living. Many articles with fictional characters talking about strange illness outbreaks, deaths, shark attacks and other Dominican “local experiences” appeared on the Internet. Although it seems that they are all related to the Dominican Republic, it is not true. The truth is that they are all based on unproven scenarios without any facts that could be used to support the accusations.

The Facts about Safety

Punta Cana beach, the Dominican Republic

The Real situation in the Dominican Republic

What about facts? Here are they are. Let us look at the statistics of American deaths per each 100,000 tourists for 2018 by countries. Surprisingly or not, the Dominican Republic is the 58th on the list. It is an impressive result, since the number of tourists visiting it is 2,237,519.

The wave of panic among American tourists went so far that the Dominican Republic Minister of Tourism held a press conference in Santo Domingo on the recent death of American tourists.

  • The press conference in Santo Domingo on the recent deaths of American tourists – view video
  • The Minister of Tourism of the Dominican Republic Francisco Javier García about the situation – view article

According to the Minister of Tourism, the deaths of eight American tourists in the Dominican Republic this year do not form part of a mysterious wave of fatalities but constitute a medically and statistically normal phenomenon that has been lumped together by the U.S. media. “Autopsies show the tourists died of natural causes, five of the autopsies are complete, and three are undergoing further toxicological analysis with the help from the FBI because of the circumstances of the deaths.”

By now, there have not been any well-grounded story that could really challenge the almost immaculate reputation of the Dominican Republic as one of the leading touristic destinations in the Caribbean. What we see in the media is a collection of creatively written plots that could be used to film a new Hollywood bestseller on Dominican beaches.

While many people get on a wave of panic after reading newspaper headlines, the Dominican Republic remains calm, bravely confronting mass media buzz. The best beach experiences, bachata dance and rum are in the air and therefore, the Dominican Republic won’t let it slide.

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