Several incidents, some even fatal, are putting the travel industry in Dominican Republic in the spotlight.
Local travel agents say it does make a difference for travel plans, but only to an extent.
“It’s really frightening to think that could’ve been me or someone I was with.”
Rachel Austin vacationed in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic with friends just last month. Despite the recent bad rep she says she had such a great time she wants to go back.
“The only thing that we did know is that there was a couple that was missing and they weren’t found. But we were just again, making sure that we stayed together at all times, nobody goes outside of the resort alone or anything like that just being cautious while still having fun.”
Fun like horseback riding, zip lining and a dune buggy excursion. One of the many reasons the Travel Machine in Lafayette says Dominican Republic has been their number one Caribbean destination for the past five years.
Cat Terrebonne, travel specialist at travel machine says, “Things change everyday in travel, airlines, resorts. It does sound like the resorts in the Dominican Republic have some issues to work out, they’re under investigation for some of these incidents we’ve heard about on social media. However the majority of the resorts there are safe and are good, fun and beautiful.”
If there are travel concerns, their agents are one of the first to know about it.
Terrebonne says, “Something happens in every country. We get a travel bulletin advisory on a daily basis our office does and I read them and they’re protests happening, different problems, the measles outbreak.”
Regardless where you go, travel agents say you need to be cautious.
“Be a smart traveler. Do not travel by yourself, do not walk by yourself in a resort. If you do travel by yourself, make sure you have someone who works at the resort with you. Always be wise, always be observant of your surroundings.”
If you do already have travel plans and have concerns call a travel agent and read reviews of your hotel or resort.