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What The Dominican Republic Tourist Deaths Tells us About Quality

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Quality is often taken for granted when we consider our daily behaviors. When we wake up, we expect our coffee to be hot, and for it to taste great. Anything less will help us determine that it’s not up to standard, and a series of resulting improvements will be made. While on vacation, in a five star resort in the beautiful Dominican Republic at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville, things are expected to be up to par. This includes basic human necessities like lodging and dining. Another most basic need and quality expectation is the beverages they serve. Recent American tourist deaths reveal that altered beverages are at fault, and many are claiming that they have been poisoned and survived. Fluid was found in their lungs, which is also a result of bad heart conditions. While traveling a long way to a foreign land, there’s a certain level of discomfort we place ourselves in. We instill trust in the foreign government to have strict rules and regulations that are geared towards protecting the immediate safety of citizens and tourist alike. Countries can often go through periods of political turmoil and crime that will elevate their travel advisory levels. If it’s reported as a level 4, it may be best proactive to cancel the trip. 

Recent Deaths & David Ortiz

There has been an ongoing, alarming string of tourist deaths recently in the Dominican Republic. A Maryland couple in May were found dead at the resort with no signs of foul play, and a woman from Pennsylvania died as well. Another woman from Delaware at a different hotel died, in addition to the shooting of 43 year old, former baseball superstar David Ortiz. It was recently reported that ABC’s Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran’s brother died in the country during a visit in April. There have been even more deaths reported and the mystery continues to grow. Reports continue to circulate from those who claim they were sick during recent visits to the Dominican Republic. The country has reported that 18 Americans died in their country in 2018, and three of them were from homicide. Does that affect the quality of the expected experiences tourists are paying a lot of money for?

The Numbers

Data derived from shows that the country hosted 6.19 million tourists in 2017, which is an increase from 5.96 million a year prior (statista). From ’05 to ’17, statistics show a 2.5 million a year tourist increase in a 12 year span. The numbers continue to rise. Now that the quality of stay and safety of visitors is at risk, will the country report lower tourism numbers? The country’s image and travel brand is slowly starting to become badly damaged. Not only have a recent number of tourists died while staying in select resorts, many people online are claiming strange, scary experiences during recent stays. 
refent tourist deaths david ortiz shooting dominican republic

What now?

Stay away. There is something not adding up, and although the country is gorgeous and attractive for many vacationers, its posed danger levels are too risky. IS it normal for vacation spots to have a certain level and threat of danger and safety? Yes, but this is something a bit more concerning. For example, there have been multiple shark attacks reports off the shore of North Carolina, which is something that has been a credible, natural threat for a very long time. Natural causes are something that are of course discouraging when planning vacations, but a recent scare of poisoning guests drinks, a death of a TV personality’s brother, a former baseball superstar being shot in the back and a handful of normal, everyday Americans losing their lives with little explanation is enough to cancel any plans to travel to the Dominican Republic until the root of the problem has been resolved. It’s also important to understand that a bad serious of foul intentions, most likely that of a select group, are not a direct representation of the entire country’s feeling towards tourists. Unfortunately, that’s not the name of the game in customer service and the expected quality result. The country is bound to lose visitors and a large amount of income in the near future.

Final thoughts

Quality is always something that expect when we pay a good amount of money for, whether a good or a service. A planned vacation, which for most is a get away from the daily grind, is regarded as a trusted positive experience and high standards are expected to be protected. The entire process leaves travelers vulnerable, from non-refundable down payments, plane tickets and other expenses to leaving your home country to enjoy another one. It’s a risk. Which can be extremely enjoyed. I’ve traveled to two wonderful parts of the Caribbean, where the hospitality was amazing and the food was great. It’s up to foreign government entities to create a safe and comfortable experience for all tourists. When incidents like this happen, the country’s economy will suffer. The quality of their beautiful offerings becomes threatened.  The investigation/motive for both the David Ortiz shooting and tourist deaths remains under investigation. Stay up-to-date with the latest news through searching “Dominican republic tourist deaths” and “David Ortiz” on your favorite browser.   
References: Number of tourist arrivals in the Dominican Republic 2017 | Statistic. (n.d.). Retrieved from
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