Dominican Republic Says Island Is Strengthening Safety Measures

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In the wake of recent tourist deaths at various resortsDominican Republic Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier García says the island is updating its safety programs and increasing measures implemented throughout the country to strengthen the confidence of the traveling public.

The proactive and enhanced measures, according to the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism, include:

Emergency Tourist Center

In cooperation with the attorney general, García says that a multi-lingual emergency center is being established in Bávaro, a primary tourist destination in Punta Cana. The center will be staffed by a team of multi-lingual specialists who will serve as a direct liaison between tourists, their families and the necessary government entity.

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Stringent Inspection and Compliance Standards

Under the purview of the Ministry, the Department of Tourism Services and Companies is doubling inspection capacities and significantly increasing compliance standards in tourist destinations, García says. Specifically, hotels will be required to provide inspectors with detailed food handling protocols, as well as comprehensive information on all food and beverage suppliers. Further, the department will continue to closely monitor the medical offices within the hotel facilities and scrutinize the professional qualifications of its doctors, resident doctors, nurses and assistants. Heightened inspections and oversight will also extend to all aquatic facilities and their required certified lifeguard services.

Immediate Access to Emergency Information

Reinforced mandates require that emergency information and the availability of 911 is clearly posted in every guestroom, García says. Additionally, hotel staff will be required to review the information with each guest at the time of check-in to further emphasize access to emergency services and support.  

García says that the intensive measures outlined by the Ministry deepen the continued focus on the country’s emergency response and security infrastructure. Previously implemented under a federal initiative, a 911 system was enabled throughout the Dominican Republic, with specific availability in the popular resort areas. In 2018, the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism reports proactive programs resulted in a 27 percent decrease in the number of criminal acts reported against foreign tourists over the previous year and contributed to the country’s recognition among the safest in the region.

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