The Association of Hotels and Tourism -Asonahores- reassured that the Dominican Republic is a safe destination for tourists.
In response to a report issued by Gallup, the executive vice president of Asonahores, Andres Marranzini, stated that the country is a safe destination for tourists and “saying otherwise is a questionable act.”
“Without pretending to deny realities that must be resolved, we can say that the country is a safe tourist destination for visitors, where generally the acts reported in the tourist regions are rackets and only exceptionally we register a life-threatening attempt to a tourist because of criminal acts”, he stated in a text sent out to local media.
Last year, 6.5 million tourists visited the country and the related crime rate reached “one in a hundred cases; that is, it does not exceed 1%,” though he acknowledged that the country needs to improve the efficiency of institutions that have the mission of attacking crime.
According to the 2018 Global Law and Order Report, the Dominican Republic appears among the ten destinations with the highest risk to travel alone in 2019.
“The best denial of this report is that the latest survey of ‘Opinion, Attitude and Motivation of Non-Resident Foreigners’, from the Dominican Republic’s Central Bank, indicates that 93% of visitors stated that their expectations in choosing the country for their holidays were met, and in the case of Punta Cana, the satisfaction rate is at 99%,” Marranzini recalled.
Gallup listed these as countries linked to a lack of security: Sierra Leone, Botswana, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, South Africa, Liberia, Gabon, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Venezuela.
We looked up at the 2018 Global Law and Order Report and this is what we have found.
According to the report, the face-to-face interviews were performed in Spanish between July 11th and July 28th, with a 3.7% margin of error.
The text does not specify if the data was collected from tourists nor in tourists destinations.
On his remarks, Marranzini was curious about which methodology was used to conclude that in the Dominican Republic there is, allegedly, a safety situation comparable to African countries such as Sudan, Liberia, Gabon, and South Africa, or even Afghanistan, currently at war.
The administrative minister of the Dominican Presidency, Jose Ramon Peralta, said that the country has “high levels of security for tourists visiting our country.”
Moreover, the head of the national police, Mayor General Ney Aldrin Batista, denied the poll’s claims and stated that the Caribbean country has one of the lowest crime rates in the region. “We have doubled up our efforts to tackle rackets at strategic, tourist, locations.”
Ministry of Tourism gathers security leaders
The Minister of Tourism, Francisco Javier Garcia, led the first meeting with the commission appointed by the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, who is working on the development of a strategy to strengthen security in the country’s tourism centers.
At a meeting held last week at the minister’s office in Santo Domingo, Javier Garcia discussed with representatives of the military and security forces, the topics and first actions to be implemented in the four tourist poles of the country, as instructed by Decree 47-19 issued by President Medina.
According to the text, several institutions are instructed to diagnose the challenges in terms of tourism security and propose a strategy that seeks to strengthen security in tourist destinations.
The tourism official sat down with the Defense Minister, Major General Ruben Paulino Sem; the Minister of Interior and Police, Jose Ramon Fadul; the Emergency Operations Center head, Brigadier General, Juan Manuel Mendez; and the director of the National Police, Major General, Ney Aldrin Bautista, among other top representatives of public offices.
The institutions responsible for complying with this provision are:
- Ministry of Tourism
- Ministry of Defense
- Ministry of the Interior and Police
- Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance
- Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
- National Police
- Navy of the Dominican Republic
- Specialized Body of Tourist Security
- National System of Emergency and Security 911
- Emergency Operations Center
- National Institute of Land Transportation
- General Directorate of Customs
In article three of the decree, the institutions involved are given a period of three months to submit a report for the elaboration of a said strategy and a national coverage plan.