Dominican President Danilo Medina issued decree 287-19 that creates the National Tourism Security Committee, responsible of designing policies, strategies, and programs to prevent, detect, prosecute and eradicate threats to the tourism industry in the country.
The National Tourism Security Committee is also in charge of coordinating activities and foster an integrated security environment in the national tourism sector by adopting measures for the effective performance of civil, military, state police authorities, as well as other state and private sector security agencies.
The disposition of the Executive Branch became public to the media by the government spokesman and head of Communications Roberto Rodríguez Marchena on Twitter.
According to the second point of the decree, “tourism security is defined by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as the protection of life, health, physical, psychological, and economic integrity of visitors, service providers, and members of the receiving communities”.
The Dominican government also considered Article I numeral 4, from the global ethical code for tourism, developed by the UNWTO, which outlines that “public authorities have the mission of ensuring the protection of foreign tourists because of its particular vulnerability”.
In that sense, they will facilitate the establishment of information media, prevention, protection, insurance and specific assistance that correspond to the tourist needs.
Endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly, the code addresses the socio-economic, cultural and environmental aspects of tourism and aims to guide all stakeholders in the development of sustainable and responsible tourism.
National Tourism Security Committee
“We welcome the issuance of the decree, which is another element to continue strengthening the industry that generates the most foreign currency and has become the locomotive of the Dominican economy,” he said.
Consulted by the local newspaper Listin Diario, the head of Tourism said that the presidential decree is part of the actions taken in the country since the beginning of the year to boost the tourist security system.
He said that all industry players are represented on the committee since tourism security has always been a priority for the Government and all Dominicans.
The board is chaired by the Ministry of Tourism and integrated by the ministries of Defense, Interior and Police, Public Health and Environment, and the following institutions and entities:
- National Police
- Specialized Tourist Security Corps
- National Emergency Assistance and Security System (911)
- Emergency Operations Center
- National Land Transportation Institute
- General Directorate of Customs
- Attorney General’s Office
- General Directorate of Migration
- National Institute for the Protection of Consumer Rights
- Military and Police Commission of the Ministry of Public Works
- A representative of the Association of Tour Operators
- A representative of the Association of Hotels and Tourism (Asonahores)
The latest report from the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic shows that from January to July 2018, the country received over 4.1 million non-resident visitors through their eight international airports, which represented an increase of 227,140 additional visitors compared to 2017.
The Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (Asonahores), assessed as a positive step the decree that includes them within the National Tourism Security Committee, because “it will allow tourism sector institutions and State security agencies to work in the same direction.”
The president of Asonahores, Paola Rainieri, valued the measure adopted by the executive branch and considered that everything performed under the agreement of all tourism parties will always be positive for the sector and for the country.
Andres Marranzini, executive director of the entity, said that Dominican tourism, despite all the adversities and attacks received by the events in different complexes, is focused on bringing more foreign visitors to the country, “so that the peak season is actually a season in which a large number of tourists arrive”.
Dominican tourism is one of the driving forces of the national economy, transversal to the productive sectors and the largest generator of foreign exchange. Since 2012, more than 42 million tourists have visited the Caribbean country.
As of now, the tourism infrastructure consists of 816 hotels and more than 81 thousand hotel rooms.