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Is the Dominican Republic Safe for Travelers?

Last year, you may recall hearing reports in the news about the safety of tourists in the Dominican Republic. Although this region is known for its white sand beaches and affordable all-inclusive resorts, many travelers were shaken by the negative publicity and put this destination on the back burner out of fear that it’s not safe. While all the incidents were isolated events, when combined together in close proximity to each other, they created a sense of fear and mystery, resulting in many tourists wanting to avoid this region at all costs. I certainly don’t blame anyone for their concern, because your safety must always be the number one consideration.

Months have now passed, and no new incidents have been reported. However, that does pose the question of whether or not Punta Cana, and the rest of the Dominican Republic, is safe for travelers once again.

In one word, the short answer to that question is YES! Whether you are traveling to Punta Cana, or any other part of this beautiful tropical destination, you will be happy to know that you are safe.

The country's tourism minister Francisco Javier Garcia has claimed all along that the Dominican Republic is safe, and now that investigations have been completed, U.S. authorities agree. Of the 11 documented incidents last year, just two resulted from unnatural causes. The remainder of the deaths in 2019 were the result of natural causes, which was confirmed by the State Department, autopsies, and FBI toxicology reports. Tainted alcohol was suspected in several cases, but in the end it was ruled out, as were other forms of foul play. In summary, there is no reason for concern regarding travel to the Dominican Republic.

Yes, you will still need to deal with the possibility of natural disasters such as hurricanes from the month of July through the month of November, and there’s a slight risk of earthquakes. Add in the usual scams and crimes that are seen everywhere in the world and you will see that no matter where you are located, it’s always advisable to use common sense precautions when traveling. Although it’s true that no one is immune to falling victim to crime, it’s worth noting that tourist destinations are generally more heavily policed and safer than other metropolitan areas. Tourism is a huge source of income for the DR and local authorities have a strong interest in making sure you are safe.

Currently, the Dominican Republic is listed by the U.S. Department of State as a Level Two Travel Warning – Exercise Increased Caution. Before you let that scare you, keep in mind that very popular countries that you wouldn’t hesitate to visit, such as Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom are also under the same level two travel warning.

The authorities within the Dominican Republic have worked very hard to create additional measures to keep tourists safe. They began by opening an emergency center that all tourists can visit at any time while in Punta Cana. Next, they required all hotels to post emergency contact information in each and every room. The last step introduced a new law where hotels are inspected more frequently to ensure all protocols are being met when it comes to the food and drinks being served. While these new measures are excellent, many of the hotels and resorts in the Dominican Republic also made their own changes to their protocols.

Fifty of those hotels even went as far as creating what they are calling the Punta Cana Promise. This promise was designed to reaffirm each hotel’s highest level of commitment to its guests when it comes to both safety and security. Participating properties can be found by visiting www.puntacanapromise.com.

There are eight parts of the Punta Cana Promise and they are as follows:

  1. OUR properties are self-contained and provide 24-hour security and medical assistance

  2. OUR food and beverage offerings come only from reputable, trusted vendor partners and are all carefully checked and inspected before being served at any property, in accordance with global food safety management standards

  3. OUR employees all undergo rigorous background checks, screening, and training

  4. OUR high staff-to-guest ratios ensure that every guest receives the attention, service, and security they expect and deserve

  5. OUR properties not only meet but also exceed tourism and hospitality regulations and guidelines

  6. OUR hotel-affiliated vacation activities and excursions are provided exclusively by reputable partners who are all licensed and insured

  7. OUR properties are each united in the oversight and delivery of the Punta Cana Promise

  8. OUR hotels will provide safety information and phone numbers to all guests upon check in

In light of all this new information I completely understand if you are still skeptical about visiting the Dominican Republic. The fear generated by the media is hard to shake. While it has been deemed safe, I certainly wouldn’t want any of my clients to spend their entire vacation in worry mode. Therefore, if you still have your doubts, I can help you choose from many of the other gorgeous tropical destinations around the world. Just know that the Dominican Republic will be waiting for you when you finally decide that this beautiful location should be part of your future vacation plans once again.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. If you want a seasoned travel agent to help you with your vacation plans in the Dominican Republic, or any other destination in the Caribbean, Hawaii, or Mexico, please reach out to me today by clicking here. My services are free, and I’d love to help take all of the stress out of your travel planning!

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