With regard to recent news reports about tourist safety and suspicious deaths in Dominican Republic:
Update: June 22, 2019 - In a press conference, Dominican Republic Tourism Minister, Francisco Javier Garcia spoke out about recent tourist deaths and media coverage. To see video, please click here
"We have demonstrated that it's not true that there has been an avalanche of deaths of American tourists in our country, and it's not true that we have mysterious deaths here," Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia told reporters. The reporting by some media outlets of an "avalanche of deaths does not correspond to reality," he said. "I have been leading the ministry of tourism for 11 years, never in 55 years has there been a debate in the media around tourists - of any nationality - that had died in a country. This is a debate that for the first time, appears in the media, and it appears that the place chosen to initiate this debate as been the Dominican Republic. The institution that most works for the security of its citizens outside the United States is the US Department of State. And the Department of State qualifies as exaggerated the report of deaths of tourists in the Dominican Republic".
A United States State Department spokesperson told ABC News. "We have not seen an uptick in the number of U.S. citizen deaths reported to the Department" in the Dominican Republic". The spokesperson said that more than 2.7 million U.S. citizens visit the Dominican Republic each year and, as in most countries, "the overwhelming majority travel without incident."
The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo said last week that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is now helping to probe the deaths of at least three Americans who perished in a five-day span at neighboring hotels in the same resort run by Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts. In the effort to provide complete transparency, Dominican authorities asked for the FBI's help in conducting toxicology analysis in the investigations stemming from the deaths at the luxury destination, according to officials at the U.S. Embassy.
June 20, 2019:
As a responsible private residential community and active member of the Hotel and Tourism Association of the Dominican Republic, we categorically reject the rating that the international media gladly makes of a country that has maintained friendly and cordial treatment with all tourists for years. Proof of this is that in 2018, the Dominican Republic was listed within the best destinations among TripAdvisor favorites.