After reading, seeing and hearing all the negative news on Dominican Republic, I had to dig in and do my research, below you will see what I found, after hours of reading articles and looking at crime stats. I did not just want to sit here and listen to all this media frenzy on the recent DR deaths in relation tourist, I wanted to truly know, is the DR safe as a tourist destination or not?
However, before I share this with you, here is a disclaimer. I am Dominican, born in Santo Domingo, raised in New York, Brooklyn to be more specific. I am informing you of this because what I am about to share with you might sound bias, now that you know where I was born, and that’s ok because what I am going to write are facts, not fiction or content based on the current negative media frenzy of DR and its deadly association with tourist in recent events. Including the snowball effect in which the shooting of David Ortiz has added gasoline to all the negative news that has caused people to cancel their vacation to DR and others who are considering doing the same, as they are concerned about safety issues and rightly so. Hopefully this article will shed some light on the facts, not the frenzy.
First, DR attracts more than 6 million annual visitors. My research found a total three homicides of tourist in the DR from 2011 to present day 2019. Crunching the numbers, that’s 3 out of about 48 million tourist have been murdered he last 8 years. That’s a percentage of less than 0.0000625. I understand that this means nothing to the family and friends of the departed but this percentage is a remarkably low number and tells us that current media aside, Dominican Republic is very safe, statically safe because numbers don’t lie.
Additionally, from the six million vacationers to the DR within the last year (since June 2018 to June 2019), seven tourist have died. The deaths are being investigated, no foul play or murder, nor motives have yet to surface. So far the deaths seem to have occurred from either natural causes, accidental or mistaken consumption of liquor or and drugs Although tragic, as mentioned before, especially to the the families and friends of deceased, this number is also not a high percentage in comparison with the 6 million travelers to the island within the past year.
The fact is that crime has increased in the DR in the last ten to twenty years, but overall crime against tourist is typically and historically very very low.
Violent crime against tourist is almost unheard of in the DR. This is not based on my experience, although I do travel often to DR and have never heard or seen violent acts against tourist. This is based on facts as indicated in numbers above and stats below, you will see that DR is not even on the list. Additionally Dominicans are generally friendly and welcoming people.
What tourist should keep on eye open for is being hustled by some (not all) eager local vendors, willing to jack up prices if they feel they can get away with it. Whether you go for a walk here in the states, travel to DR or any other place, you should always be aware of your surroundings and how you carry yourself pertaining to where you go, who you go with, this is true anywhere. Obviously, “don’t go walk on a lonely dark street wearing shiny expensive jewelry” and don’t “flash wads of cash” wherever you go in DR or any other place for that matter. Use common sense.
This is what an American expat living in Sosua in DR has to say about the Island. It’s as safe as YOU make it here. If you come here to enjoy the beach with your family there is very little chance that you will be the victim of a violent crime. The majority of the crime in this country is petty theft and crimes of opportunity. If your visiting with the intent of finding love in all the wrong places or looking to participate in the evening pharmaceutical trade than your odds go way up. But this is true for any tourist destination in the known universe. So when JoeyG from Boise starts his Facebook rant about how dangerous the DR is…. take it with a grain of salt. We have over 6,000,000 tourists visit our country per year – the statistics don’t lie, the Dominican Republic is one of the SAFEST destinations for tourist in the entire Caribbean.