Earlier this week, a New Jersey man became the ninth U.S. tourist to die this year while visiting the Dominican Republic.
The Caribbean island has become a vacation hot spot with nearly 6 million Americans visiting annually.
One Columbus-area travel agent says the scare has hit the Chattahoochee Valley. Donna Anderson, who owns Travels by Donna, says she books a number of local travelers into the all-inclusive Dominican resorts.
It’s a popular destination for area travelers.
Vacationers are now weighing their options and some to choose to go elsewhere, Anderson said. Though she said a large Columbus graduation group traveled to the Dominican in late May and reported no problems.
Just before Thursday’s interview with News 3, Anderson had one client opt out of a Dominican trip.
“It is kind of a personal preference. The company we work with,” Anderson said. “They are allowing you to change a destination or change a date as long as they continue to travel. And they will not impose change fees.”
Anderson has been working with her clients to make decisions that work for them.
“So, we have had people who have taken them up on that offer,” she said. “We had some change today. We have had some who are looking at changing. And we still have some who are thinking about going.”
The FBI is assisting Dominican authorities in the death investigations.