Dominican Republic reveals tourism safety initiatives

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Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
A beach in Punta Cana. Photo Credit: Preto Perola/Shutterstock

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 tourist destinations.

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.

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