The Dominican Republic Cracks Down On Food And Drink Inspections After Numerous Tourist Deaths
By Kelsey Marie
The Dominican Republic made news headlines this summer after a series of tourist deaths while on the island.
In efforts to increase safety measures, the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism is making changes to food and drink inspections.
Francisco Javier Garcia, Minister of Tourism, announced this week in a press release that programs are currently being implemented to strengthen travelers’ confidence.
According to USA Today, hotels will be required to “provide inspectors with detailed food handling protocols as well as comprehensive information on all food and beverage suppliers.”
Inspections are being tightened on food and beverages in tourist destinations after some of the tourists’ deaths reportedly happened after tourists consumed alcohol from hotel minibars.
The medical offices of hotels will also be closely monitored — with the department checking the qualifications of doctors, nurses and other staff members at hotels.
An emergency center is being built in Bávaro, a part of Punta Cana which is a tourist destination.
The emergency center will have multilingual specialists who will be able to liaison between tourists, families and government officials, according to USA Today.
In addition, 911 information will now be required to be clearly posted in every guest room, with hotel staff reviewing the information with guests at check-in.
Garcia says that “the Dominican Republic is a safe country” and the number of tourist deaths is actually lower than in the past year.
So far, there have been 10 U.S. tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic this year.
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.