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Safety concerns prompt travel cancellations to Dominican Republic

Posted: 6:41 PM, Jun 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-19 09:17:17-04
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PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Reports of sick tourists in the Dominican Republic are fueling renewed travel concerns for South Florida residents.

A Lake Worth couple Janny and Marlon Godinez now say they are having trouble canceling their vacation to the country.

They’ve already deposited $400 and aren’t having any luck getting a refund through their agency, Miami-based Viva Travel.

MORE: Another American tourist dies in the Dominican Republic

Janny Godinez explains, “I’m canceling because I’m seeing how many people are dying and then I’m scared, it’s safety I don’t want die in the Dominican Republic. If not I have all my suitcases pretty much done, and I can go, but this situation ... no way.”

Most recently, 47 people out of a travel group of 114 reports becoming violently ill after traveling to the Hotel Riu in Punta Cana.

Last week, American Leyla Cox died at an Excellence resort in Punta Cana from a reported heart attack.

Before that, came news of three Americans dying less than a week apart at Bahia Principe Hotels and Resorts properties.

“It’s not our fault people are dying. Nobody wants to die ... They tell me it’s one case over there, one case over here. That’s why we are not going to give the refund to anybody. It’s a lot of death,” said Janny Godinez.

WPTV spoke with local travel agents who say because of situations like this, it’s important to consider travel insurance and be aware of refund policies when planning a trip.