The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released toxicology reports and has ruled the American tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic in May were not caused by poisoned alcohol. This ruling backs up the assertion of local authorities that the deaths were from natural causes.
Toxicology tests were conducted in partnership with the Dominican Republic National Police for three incidents. The State Department and Dominican authorities have maintained that the number of deaths of American tourists has not significantly increased since previous years.
Bookings to the country have slowly rebounded. “I am greatly relieved for the Dominican Republic that the crisis in confidence appears to be abating and I am hopeful that it will be relatively short-lived, particularly if there are no more deaths and if the current FBI investigation establishes a clear cause of death in each case and none of the causes was sinister,” said Olivier Ponti, v.p. of Insights at ForwardKeys, in a statement. The company reported flight bookings that are inching upwards.
Island Destinations showed its confidence in the country by giving its 2020 President’s Award for Emerging Luxury to five luxury Dominican Republic hotels: Casa de Campo Resort & Villas, Eden Roc Cap Cana, Paradisus Palma Real Resorts, Tortuga Bay Puntacana Resort & Club, and Amanera.
“The Dominican Republic is a luxury product that deserves the attention of luxury consumers,” said Maurice Bonham-Carter, president and CEO of ID Travel Group. He also asserted that the destination was mistreated by the mainstream media after the tourist fatalities.
To demonstrate its support of the Dominican Republic, the company had its annual company retreat there in June. “The service, cuisine and offerings are better than ever, and we, as the authority for luxury travel, are extremely confident that these award-winning properties stand ready to delight your clients,” says Bonham-Carter.
In addition, Island Destinations is offering every advisor who books 36 room nights to the Dominican Republic, from now until January 31, a $1,000 air credit and 3-night stay for two.
In 2018, 6.6 million tourists visited the Dominican Republic, of which 3.2 million came from the United States and Canada, and almost 30 million tourists have visited in the last five years.