A handful of US-based airlines are now offering waivers and travel credits to US tourists refusing to travel to the Dominican Republic; responding to recent concerns after twelve Americans died while visiting the island.
“Some airlines are allowing passengers to get out of their booked trips to the Dominican Republic following recent deaths in the country,” reports ABC Chicago. “Delta Air Lines says it will give waivers to passengers who have tickets to Punta Cana.”
Despite non-stop denials and attempts by health officials to spin the negative coverage, tourism to the Dominican Republic plummeted by 74% in recent weeks after at least 12 Americans died after visiting the island.
“ForwardKeys, which analyzes more than 17 million flight bookings a day, found from June 1 to the 19th that bookings to the Dominican Republic for the months of July and August dropped by 74.3 percent compared to the same period last year. Bookings made from the beginning of April to May 31 increased by 2.8 percent,” reports Fox Business.
“Cancellations of bookings made to the Dominican Republic increased by 51.2 percent during the period of June 1 to the 19th. The site noted the cancellations jumped to 70 percent the day after the death of Leyla Cox, 53,” adds the website.
Two more Americans were confirmed dead after visiting the island last week; raising serious travel and safety concerns for the popular tourist destination from the United States.
“Two more Americans — a man from Kansas and a woman from Pennsylvania — died during vacations in the Dominican Republic, amid a recent spate of tourist deaths in the country, according to a new report,” reports the New York Post.
The families of Chris Palmer — a 41-year-old Army veteran from Kansas who died on April 18, 2018, and Barbara Diane Maser-Mitchell, a 69-year-old retired nurse from Pennsylvania who died on Sept. 17, 2016 — came forward to Fox News to report their deaths,” adds the Post.
The spat of deaths and illnesses sparked the FBI to deploy agents to the island; probing pools, air conditioners, food, and water at luxury resorts to determine the cause of the mysterious ailments.
The Dominican Republic was also thrust into global headlines last week when new details emerged surrounding an assassination plot against Red Sox legend David Ortiz.
Ortiz survived a brutal assassination attempt in the Dominican Republic weeks ago, with local authorities saying the plot involved an $8,000 bounty, two cars, one motorcycle, and more than six men.
“While the motive behind the attempted murder remains a mystery, investigators now believe the conspirators met earlier that night regarding a $7,800 bounty that was placed on the former Boston Red Sox slugger’s head,” reports Fox News.