Earlier this year, several American tourists in the Dominican Republic reportedly died after drinking tainted alcohol at several resorts. According to a toxicology report just released by the FBI, however, those tourists actually died of natural causes, meaning your next vacation to the DR doesn’t have to be a sober one.
“Methanol poisoning from tainted alcohol was ruled out by the FBI in these cases during the toxicology screening,” said a State Department official, “and it was not the finding in any other cases of U.S. citizen deaths investigated by Dominican authorities.”
In the wake of the incidents, which included the deaths of at least 10 tourists, tourism to the Dominican Republic saw a 74.3 percent decline, according to the flight booking analysts at ForwardKeys. Oliver Ponti, vice president of insights at ForwardKeys, said of the American tourists, “Their recent and tragic deaths appear to have had a dramatic impact on travel to the Dominican Republic. Our analysis of leisure travel shows a striking correlation.”
Since the US is the number one source market for Dominican tourism, that represents a major blow to the economy. With the surfacing of the toxicology report and assurances that poisoned alcohol was not the culprit, however, tourism looks poised to increase again.