Authorities in the Dominican Republic have announced new safety measures to ease tourists’ fears about traveling to the country.
According to a report on CNN, the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Tourism is making an effort to calm Americans’ fears with increased hotel inspections, more monitoring measures to medical facilities located within hotels and a new emergency tourist center.
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“Given the amount of coverage that we have gotten over the last couple of months we do recognize that there may be some concern among some of the tourists,” Pablo Espinal, the tourism ministry’s chief of staff told CNN.
According to reports, at least 10 U.S. citizens have died in the country after experiencing a sudden health issue since June of last year. Dominican Republic authorities have found that these deaths were the result of natural causes and the number of deceased Americans in the country is actually lower than in previous years, according to data from the FBI.
That being said, the FBI has been called in to help with toxicology reports in three of the most recent deaths, and officials in the country have also invited the ATF and the CDC to assist in the investigation.
“We have unequivocally shown that there is not an avalanche of deaths of American tourists in the country and it is not true that there are mysterious deaths,” Dominican Republic Minister of Tourism, Francisco Javier Garcia said during a recent press conference with national and international media.
Officials in the country have not found any breaches in protocol at hotels or other tourist attractions, said CNN, however, these new procedures are being put in place to reassure travelers to the country that it is now an even safer place for a vacation.
Earlier this month, TravelPulse spoke with travelers who recently visited the Dominican Republic to get their reaction on safety in the country. Additionally, the latest episode of the TravelPulse Podcast was recorded on location from the Hard Rock in the Dominican Republic.