Insider Suggests Safety Risks are Unusually High, Despite Expert Saying the Contrary
travFACTS’ mission is to expose exaggerated or flat out misleading travel “news” that is consistently put out by media outlets. A June 17th story by Insider uses the headline, “A travel analyst explains the risks of visiting the Dominican Republic, and what to watch out for if you do.”
The only problem with this is that the expert mentioned in the headline, Anthony Tipping, a regional intelligence analyst for global travel risk management firm WorldAware, goes on to say in the story that there is not an unusual spike in safety risks in the Dominican Republic.
travFACTS takes a look at this story below:
Media Outlet: Insider
Date: June 17th
Where the Story Fails
The travel analyst in this headline is quoted in the story as saying he does not think there is a heightened safety risk in the Dominican Republic, as the headline implies.
According to Insider, “Anthony Tipping, a regional intelligence analyst for global travel risk management firm WorldAware, told INSIDER he has heard reports that tourists are reconsidering vacation plans to visit the Dominican Republic, but he doesn't think there is a ‘heightened threat’ to travelers.”
The story’s expert goes on to say, "These recent incidences, particularly those at the end of May, are likely isolated events and still not the product of violent crime. I think it's important to note that it isn't a crisis yet."
So, why not include that in the headline?
In what has become a common practice among consumer media outlets, this article also lumps together both tourist and non-tourist-related incidents, along with a physical assault that occurred earlier this year.
The Actual Facts
The U.S. State Department has continued to say that the deaths in the Dominican Republic, for the most part, do not appear to be unusual.
To connect the 2019 U.S. tourist deaths with crime outside of a resort and a woman who was physically beaten is very insensitive to the victims. Most of the deaths this year occurred at different hotels and the shooting of David Ortiz happened on the streets.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) last advisory to travelers heading to the Dominican Republic warned of the risk of rabies from cat and dog bites. But neither the CDC or the FBI have issued warnings about a health hazard in hotel minibars, despite investigations dating back to May.
Currently, the U.S. State Department shows the Dominican Republic at a level 2 advisory, which is the same as other Caribbean hot spots, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas and Cuba. This level 2 advisory has been in place since April, and hasn’t changed, despite the negative reporting. What does the State Department know that these reporters don’t know, or don’t care to know?
Other popular destinations worldwide with a level 2 advisory include Mexico, South Africa, Italy, Spain, India, Antarctica, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the Maldives.
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