June 17, 2019

Reports about American illnesses and deaths while visiting the Dominican Republic are surfacing, and tourists are currently reconsidering vacation plans to visit the popular vacation spot. According to intelligence analyst Anthony Tipping, there may not be an increased threat to travelers. He said it's important to note that the incidents that occurred at the end of May are likely isolated events and are not yet considered a crisis.

The US State Department advises travelers to exercise increased caution when heading to the country and categorizes its risk as a Level 2. In Business Insider, Tipping stated, "I would point to the Dominican Republic posing a moderate threat, maybe slightly higher than other Caribbean nations, but not tremendously so. Many cities in the United States have much higher crime rates, much higher rates of violent crime." Much of the crime in the Dominican Republic is non-violent: most are petty crimes like stealing electronics and purses.

Tipping provided risk mitigation tips to travelers: 

  • Do not openly carry expensive items
  • Stow items away when traveling from one location to another 
  • Maintain situational awareness at all times and keep a relatively low profile
  • Secure doors to rooms and residences when leaving
  • Leave cars in a gated and guarded parking lot when possible

Any crimes should be reported to local authorities like the tourist police corps as well as the US Embassy in the Dominican Republic.

Read on to learn what Business Insider shared on the subject.