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Dominican Republic Highlights Country’s Safety Despite U.S. Embassy Warning

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Authorities and travel industry representatives in the Dominican Republic have published statements over the past several days highlighting the country’s excellent track record as a tourist destination despite a recent travel advisory from the U.S. Embassy. In particular, they have pointed out that the Dominican Republic enjoys excellent popularity levels, and security, and that the country is open to tourists from across the globe. 

Woman walking along a beach in the Dominican Republic

The statements – released this week – come after U.S. officials published a travel advisory warning travelers about potentially discriminatory behavior at Dominican Repulic ports and airports. According to the U.S., the Dominican Republic is deporting thousands of illegal migrants to Haiti and in doing so, is targeting people based on the color of their skin.

Tourist police

The Dominican government is far from the only entity to reject the U.S.’ recent warning. Today, representatives from the country’s main tourism organization – Asonahores – published a statement highlighting the Dominican Republic’s status as one of the most stable and safest international destinations.

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Punta Cana's busy airport.

According to the body, the Dominican Republic is widely regarded as one of the most diverse international destinations, with a host of renowned hotels and resorts. They also claim the country enjoys sky-high satisfaction rates among visitors, with more than 90% of all tourists saying they would like to return to the country in the future. 

“The Dominican Republic’s popularity stems from the warmth and professionalism shown by the Dominican people to all visitors on our territory,” the organization said in a statement. The statement is based on polls and questionnaires, which are routinely conducted on visitors to give insight into the country’s performance as a tourist destination. 

Dominican president

They also added that the United States remains the Dominican Republic’s main commercial and trading partner, in addition to being the principal market for inbound tourists. 

Meanwhile, the United States has said that in some cases, Dominican authorities are failing to respect the legal status of detained individuals. U.S. officials have also expressed concerns over detention centers, and especially health and sanitary conditions among migrant people. 

DR government

The events that unfolded following the U.S. travel warning have been a shock to bilateral relationships between the two countries. Despite enjoying excellent commercial, touristic, and cultural ties, rising tensions over migration are undermining a once-strong friendship. 

Hiait protest

For their part, authorities in the Dominican Republic have stated that the country follows international agreements on migratory matters, and there have been calls for the U.S. to revise its position on the recent travel warning. Over the past few days, the two countries have exchanged differing views on the issue, and an effort is being made to de-escalate rising tensions.

The situation along the Dominican-Haiti border remains extremely tense, with mass migration prompting calls to strengthen border controls and limit the influx of migrants. The Dominican Republic is in the process of building a massive wall along its border in an attempt to halt organized crime and illegal migration. Haiti, a country that shares a 240-mile-long border with its Dominican neighbor, is in the midst of a massive humanitarian crisis, with hunger, poverty, and record inflation forcing many to seek a better future across the border. 

Officials hope the recent U.S. travel warning will not have a negative effect on travel numbers over the winter holiday. With millions of tourists expected to visit the Dominican Republic over the following months, over 60% of all travelers originate from the U.S. As a result, there has been growing pressure for the Dominican Republic to mend ties with the U.S. and to implement changes to its migratory procedures.  

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