Locals change travels plans as Dominican Republic death toll rises

Tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic are forcing people here to change their travel plans.  

A local travel agent tells FOX 46 that a bride just canceled her honeymoon and lost her all money because she was booked directly with the resort, but was too concerned about safety in the D.R. right now. 

At least nine Americans have died mysterious deaths, so we asked a Charlotte travel agent: Should you cancel your trip?

"I would go to the Dominican Republic, however, if you have the slightest bit of concern, you should be looking forward to your vacation not dreading it,” said Roni Fishkin, Director of Marketing and Events at Mann Travel on Park Road.

Fishkin says vacationers are calling with concerns now that the death toll has risen. 

"I think the unknown is what's concerning people.” 

Some booked their trip over a year ago, but after all of the deaths, many are saying they don’t want to take any chances.   


 "The bride to be who booked her own vacation and doesn't want to go,” Fishkin said. “She’s losing all her money and called us to book somewhere else." 

The honeymooners are now heading to Aruba. 

"Unfortunately people get sick on vacation. It can happen anywhere"

The State Department says nearly three million Americans visit the Dominican Republic each year. 

"Be assured that there are still people traveling to the Dominican Republic and having fabulous vacations." 

Fishkin wants to ease destination fear.   

“The flights are going to the Dominican Republic, the hotels are open, people who want to travel are not going to stop traveling,” she said. 

The causes for the American deaths on the island is a mystery. Some reports say authorities are looking at possibly tainted liquor, but the country’s health officials say the tourists died of natural causes.