Tourist Deaths Taking A Toll On Dominican Republic Bookings
By Parker Diakite
A New Jersey resident is the latest American tourist that died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic after several other mysterious deaths that have been reported in the past year.
According to ABC 7, 55-year-old Joseph Allen was found dead on the morning of June 13 after complaining about being hot at the pool. He said he was going back to his room to take a shower and lay down for the night.
When he didn’t show up to breakfast the next morning, hotel staff found Allen on the floor where rigor mortis had set in.
Allen’s death brings the total of American tourists found dead in the Dominican Republic to nine, as reported in CNN.
The recent deaths are alarming tourists who are planning travel to the Dominican Republic and travel advisors are looking to rebook their clients to other destinations.
“We have been getting lots of calls,” Margie Hand, an affiliate of Andavo Travel based in Birmingham, Ala., told Travel Weekly. “So far I believe about half of our Punta Cana bookings have rebooked to go elsewhere.”
That includes a 100-person wedding that opted to move the event to Jamaica, Hand told the publication.
“I have had several families completely change their plans and opted to move to another island,” Gina Libretti-Costa, president of G World Travel in Maspeth, told the NY Post. “More recently, a family of 10 opted to make the switch to another Caribbean island.”
The FBI is working with Dominican authorities on an investigation.
Officials are investigating whether bootleg liquor is to blame in the mysterious deaths in at least seven of the American tourists. Some of them have reportedly died after drinking from the minibar in their room.