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Dominican Republic Tourists Died of Natural Causes, Not Tainted Alcohol, FBI Report Says

BY STACEY LEASCA OCTOBER 21, 2019More

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The beach area in front of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is seen where a tourist died unexpectedly after getting sick two months ago at the hotel on June 20, 2019 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES

On Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released the toxicology reports on the Americans who mysteriously died in the Dominican Republic earlier this year. According to the FBI report, all of the tourists died of natural causes.

“The results of the additional, extensive toxicology testing completed to date have been consistent with the findings of local authorities,” a State Department spokesperson told The Hill, despite initial assumptions that the tourists died due to tainted alcohol served at several resorts. “Methanol poisoning from tainted alcohol was ruled out by the FBI in these cases during the toxicology screening, and it was not the finding in any other cases of U.S. citizen deaths investigated by Dominican authorities.”

According to additional reporting by Fox, the FBI has delivered the results of those toxicology reports to the families of the deceased. 

These findings may help boost tourism to the Dominican, which has greatly suffered following the deaths of at least 10 tourists.Tourism to the Dominican Republic Has Dropped 74%, According to New StudyIs traveling to the Dominican dangerous for Americans? Here’s what travelers need to know.Play VideoYOU MIGHT LIKESTILL HAVEN’T BOOKED YOUR HOLIDAY TRAVEL? HERE’S HOW TO FIND THE BEST DEAL, ACCORDING TO AN EXPERTTHIS POPULAR EUROPEAN CITY WILL HAVE THE HIGHEST TOURIST TAX IN EUROPE

In June, ForwardKeys, which analyzes more than 17 million flight bookings a day, released a report showing summer bookings to the Dominican from the United States fell by 74.3 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

“My deepest sympathies go out to the families of the American tourists who have passed away. Their recent and tragic deaths appear to have had a dramatic impact on travel to the Dominican Republic,” Olivier Ponti, vice president of insights at ForwardKeys, said in a statement. “Our analysis of leisure travel shows a striking correlation.”

Ponti added that the deaths amount to “a dreadful image crisis for the Dominican Republic because the USA is the number one source market for tourism to the destination and its economy is highly dependent on foreign visitors.”

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