Dominican Republic minister of tourism Francisco Javier
Garcia on Thursday said the country has taken measures to ensure the safety of
tourists following highly publicized tourist deaths at resorts in recent months.
The initiatives, including an emergency center and more
stringent food and beverage inspections, are designed to increase the public's
confidence in traveling to the Dominican Republic.
The ministry of tourism, in cooperation with the attorney
general, is working on establishing an emergency tourist center in Bavaro, a
tourism destination in Punta Cana. There, multilingual specialists will act as
liaisons between tourists, their families and government entities.
Additionally, the Department of Tourism Services and
Companies will double its inspection capacities and increase standards in
According to a release, "Hotels will be required to
provide inspectors with detailed food handling protocols as well as
comprehensive information on all food and beverage suppliers."
Hotels' medical offices will be closely monitored and the
department will "scrutinize" the qualifications of workers, including
doctors, nurses and assistants.
The department will also increase inspections and oversight
of aquatic facilities and lifeguard services.
The ministry said mandates that emergency information is
posted clearly in every guestroom will be reinforced, and hotel staff will
review that information with every guest during check-in.
"We have always worked hard to create a safe
environment and will continue to be vigilant with comprehensive programs and
amplified standards that bolster the well-being of the 6 million tourists that
visit the Dominican Republic each year," Garcia said in a statement.