While the Dominican Republic has become one of the fastest-growing vacation destinations in the Caribbean, recent news reports of unexplained deaths, mysterious illnesses and criminal attacks involving American tourists may be driving the increased interest in travel insurance.
According to NPR, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is now probing into the recent unexplained deaths of seven people over the past several months who were vacationing separately on the island. Dominican tourism officials are calling the incidents unrelated and isolated, and are doing their best to run damage control amid rampant rumors that the country may be an unsafe as a destination.
In a statement released last week, The Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic sought to reassure the public that every effort is being made, and all necessary investigations conducted by both local and international authorities to identify the causes of these regrettable incidents. It also released some statistics to support its stance that the Dominican Republic is still safe for tourists.
As reported by the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic, in 2018, the country received 6.6 million visitors, 3.2 million of whom came from the United States and Canada. In the same year, the rate of incidents involving tourists had dropped to 1.4 per 100,000 visitors.
In an interview on June 10, CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg said that, “when you look at the sheer number of people that are vacationing there and then you look at the number of incidents, the numbers are overwhelmingly in your favor, but that shouldn’t prevent you from asking some basic common-sense questions.”
Officials at the U.S. Department of State would agree. The Bureau of Consular Affairs issued a travel advisory due to crime for the Dominican Republic at Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution. The bureau has also published recommendations and resources when traveling to the Dominican Republic on its website.
For trips to the Dominican Republic, InsureMyTrip reports that most travelers purchase comprehensive coverage, which offers the most protection and provides a variety of benefits, including trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical coverage, emergency medical evacuation, 24/7 emergency assistance and baggage protection.
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