Q&A – The Dominican Republic And Other “Value” Vacations

Today’s entry is in response to yesterday's story about the Dominion Republic being on the US State Department’s warning list of places unsafe for Americans. 

(This is) Probably one reason why it’s been so cheap.

Bottom Line: We’re all familiar with the expression that we get what we pay for. It’s not 100% true. There are times you can score genuine bargains. That’s true of retail merchandise and it can be true for travel as well. However, more often than not, it’s true that you get what you paid for. I received several notes in response to yesterday's story about the Dominican Republic, and many other prominent American vacation destinations, being on the US State Department’s watch list. Long before the recent revelation of mystery deaths on the island, the comments ranged from shock to a feeling that if this is the case there should be a more prominent warning prior to booking travel.  

There’s a reason why a similarly rated resort in the DR is substantially cheaper than one in the British Isles. Stability, safety, and infrastructure. That’s why the DR has long been on the State Department’s watch list and not one of the British Isle’s is. To put this in perspective, the British Virgin Islands are the safest of the Caribbean Islands based on crime rate per capita and it costs an average of $264 per person per day to visit. The Dominican Republic, by contrast, checks in at $163 per person per day. Here’s where the value proposition falls flat, safety. Your odds of being a victim of any crime is five times higher in the DR, and six times more likely for violent crime. 

Again, there’s a reason why similar islands in the Caribbean vary greatly in price. No vacation value in the world can compensate for your safety. The most recent revelation to come out of the DR is the report of 47 Jimmy Buffet fans from Oklahoma that became mysteriously and seriously ill in April. The only reason we’re hearing about this now is due to the recent deaths. There’s no telling what the extent of the issues may be on the island or how many deaths on the island due to “natural causes” really weren’t. Just yesterday, we learned of an eighth American tourist that died of mysterious causes in the DR on June 10th. What we do know is that crime’s rampant, the government isn’t reliable nor is law enforcement on the island. That’s why our government has been warning us about traveling there. Perhaps now we’ll listen. But yes, these are the real reasons why traveling to the DR and other destinations like the Bahamas and Jamaica have been so cheap. 

Submit your questions by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Photo by: Getty Images

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