Tourism to the Dominican Republic Could Be Slowly Bouncing Back
A new study by ForwardKeys has found that travel bookings from the U.S. to the Dominican Republic fell 84.4 percent for July and August (compared to the same period of last year). Bookings bottomed out around June 19, according to the study, two days after the death of Vittorio Caruso, due to heart failure.
However, between the period of June 26 to July 2, bookings began to come back in a small way, and were only down 72.5 percent. While that is still drastically down compared to the same period last year, it spells some hope for tourism in the Dominican Republic.
The study does not mark the death of Denver resident Khalid Adkins, which happened on June 25, according to CBS News.
In April and May 2019, before the deaths of tourists Miranda Schaup-Werner, Nathaniel Holmes, and Cynthia Day, bookings were actually up by a modest 2.8 percent compared to last year.
“The deaths of U.S. citizens which occurred around the end of May and early June triggered an avalanche of media interest and speculation. That kind of attention was bound to put some holidaymakers off,” Olivier Ponti, VP Insights at ForwardKeys, said in a statement. “I am greatly relieved for the Dominican Republic that the crisis in confidence appears to be abating and I am hopeful that it will be relatively short-lived.”
Francisco Javier Garcia, Tourism minister to the Dominican Republic, said at a press conference that the country is safe.
The sudden plummet of Dominican Republic bookings, according to ForwardKeys, contributed to a surge in other Caribbean destinations: Trips to Jamaica were up by 54.3 percent between June 17 and June 25, followed by the Bahamas (45.3 percent) and Aruba (49.9 percent).
An FBI investigation into the mysterious deaths is currently ongoing, according to USA Today.