LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) -With the recent deaths in the Dominican Republic, local travel agencies in East Texas are reminding travelers to use extreme caution.
Ashley Gates is the owner of Hometown Vinyl in Lufkin and booked a trip to the Dominican Republic at Secrets Royal Beach through Holiday Travel back in April.
“I was shocked because never, while we were there, I never personally felt like we were in danger. I never felt like it was uncomfortable. We never went anywhere by ourselves, we were always a group, we never went just girls anywhere and we always had our husbands with us,” said Gates.
According to reports, toxicology and autopsy results are still being investigated but possible speculation for causes of deaths included food poisoning, alcohol and use of certain pesticides at hotels.
“We ate almost all of the different restaurants in our resorts and we never had any issues. We pretty much drank at all of the bars; they are pretty much everywhere,” said Gates.
Travel consultant and owner of Holiday Travel, Nancy Mize, said while they haven’t had any recent bookings to the Dominican Republic she has always recommended that travelers use extreme caution and purchase travel insurance for medical emergencies.
“If you get into a situation where you need to be hospitalized or you need to see doctor, or if you just are uneasy for going, if you purchase ‘cancel for any reason’ clause on insurance then you can cancel for any reason and get a full refund,” said Mize.
At least ten American citizens have died at Dominican Republic resorts or after falling ill at one over the past year, according to the US State Department.