The State Department has recently issued a travel advisory for Americans planning to visit the Dominican Republic, a popular destination in the Caribbean. The advisory comes in response to a surge in violent crimes and sexual assaults reported in the region.
The State Department has classified the advisory as a yellow flag-level two, urging travelers to exercise increased caution when heading to the Caribbean hotspot. The department specifically highlighted concerns regarding violent crimes such as armed robbery, homicide, and sexual assault throughout the Dominican Republic. Factors contributing to the high level of criminality include the wide availability of weapons, illicit drug use and trade, and a weak criminal justice system.
It is worth noting that while the overall safety situation in the Dominican Republic remains a concern, the State Department has observed that resorts tend to be better policed compared to urban areas like Santo Domingo. Additionally, the implementation of a 911 emergency call system in various parts of the country and the presence of a tourist police force have contributed to enhanced safety measures for American travelers visiting the eastern side of the island of Hispaniola.
The island of Hispaniola is shared by both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In recent years, Haiti has faced severe living conditions and an escalation in gang violence due to unchecked poverty and corruption following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021.
While Haiti currently holds a Level 4 red-flag advisory, indicating “Do not travel,” the Dominican Republic shares the same threat level alert as other popular tourist destinations like France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the Bahamas.
Attempts to reach the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Tourism for comment by Fox News Digital were unsuccessful at the time of reporting. However, the State Department has provided its own recommendations for safe travel to the eastern part of Hispaniola.
For Americans planning to visit the Dominican Republic in the coming months, the State Department advises heightened situational awareness and cautions against displaying signs of wealth, such as expensive jewelry or watches. The department also strongly discourages physical resistance during robbery attempts and emphasizes the importance of adhering to local safety guidelines.
It is important for travelers to stay informed and exercise caution while considering travel to the Dominican Republic, especially given the current violence and sexual assault concerns.