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  1. #1
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    Default DR's character assassination

    I just returned from a 10 day visit to the north coast.
    I stayed again at Riu Bachata in the town of Maimon, however I used this resort as a bed and breakfast, since I went out every day to explore other places. I visited the following:

    Puerto Plata and many of the neighbourhoods (rich, middle class, poor and very poor)
    Sosua, Cabarete, Maimon, Isabela, Punta Rusia and many, many more of the towns and villages in between.

    I had discussions with everyone I came across (locals and visitors), regarding the behaviour and false information being provided by tour operators to tourists visiting the "all inclusive" resorts.
    This false information: "it is dangerous to leave the resort without our guide" IS A LIE and MUST BE STOPPED.
    It creates fear, it tells that all dominicans are either liers, thieves or criminals. It prevents that much needed dollars go into the local business and communities, and worse of all, it is a character assassination of the Dominican Republic and its beautiful people.
    If this is not changed rapidly, it will obstruct and greatly delay all the efforts the current government is trying to do to improve the image of the country and the rightful place they deserve within the world community.

    I personally experienced this BIG LIE, while visiting all kind of towns and local villages, walking the streets, talking to local businessmen, women and children, sharing family meals with them and "sobremesa tertulias".
    It's possible that because I speak spanish, it's obviously easier to do all this; however, I will argue that language is not a barrier to communicate with dominicans, experience their big heart, smiles and their big, big sense of community life.
    The poorer the town the more secured I felt. I wish we could say the same about other industrialized countries.

    I'm beginning to feel that gated communities are not so bad after all, for they could be used to protect dominicans from some foreign residents and investors.

    I live in New York, but I feel that it is my obligation, as well as that of any dominican, expat, foreign resident and aware visitor, to denounce unfair, unjust and illegal statements; which benefit a few at the expense of the defamation and degradation of an entire nation and that of others who, knowingly, remain silent.

    Rafael Rothschild

  2. #2
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    Good for you Rafael! Thanks for posting this. I agree with you.

  3. #3
    Honorificabilitudinitatibus
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    It's a simple case of the tour reps and AI hotels not wanting the guests to go out by themselves, so as to sell them their package tours.
    This is nothing new.
    It's been going on as long as there have been AI resorts, and they do it in other countries too.

  4. #4
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    So true. To spend ones time at an AI is to waste the opportunity to experience the true flavor of a beautiful land and culture. It is a shame that such a huge amount of the tourist dollars never make it to the locals who could so desparately use it.

  5. #5
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    Default Tour operators will never stop..........

    ........making these assertions. Liability issues in U.S., Europe, etc.. As long as these "warnings" are delivered, Tour companies have greatly reduced their liabliity to the client the moment someone decides to counter their advice and leave the compounds ("if" anything were ever to happen).

    I will be shocked to ever see this "verbage" change.

  6. #6
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    Good post, as a visitor to Playa Dorada I experienced the very same thing. It is totally crazy that people do not think this won't harm their own country, or harm the place in which they do business. Most of these tourists to the AI resorts are already very small minded about leaving their gated confines, they really don't need anymore encouragement. Personally I always rent a car and go exploring by myself to see the country and the people who live there. Frankly, I could not think of anything more boring than staying at the resort.....after all, if you stay at the resort, you may as well not even leave your own country at all.
    Go explore!
    Don't be a wimp!
    The world is waiting for you!

  7. #7
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    OK as a guy who goes to the island quite often in the last 18 months.. and who does go to the AI on occassion, as well as non AI places to stay...Ill give my take.
    This take is also considering the fact that I have family and friends who vacation in the DR and have for at least 5 years....

    from the view of family and friends...they want the luxury island beach getaway... which does include trikets from the locals..even if they are 20 times what they should be... they want SOME from of culture experience...but not much.....and nothing that would hinder fun in the sun, eat all you want, drink all you want style vacationing.
    They would heed the AI guides advice hook line and sinker.... and they probably will have the vacation they expect....it works out perfect for them even if they dont know what they missed.....truth is 99.9% of these people will rave about their good time , even missing all the things that would make the vacation a REAL experience....but you take one bad thing, and it can ruin the whole vacation.....like getting robbed....or in an auto accident.....outside the resort.....so I believe for the AI operators it behooves them to get repeat visitors to not know what they missed and NOT experience anything bad.......

    for the people that leave the resorts or dont go in the first place and experience the DR culture....often times it is a real shock to REALLY experience it...like an uprising on the road....or a flooded river washing out the road....or the traffic jams and motoconchos.....or getting fleeced...how ever which way....that is part of the culture.. that bad stuff goes hand in hand with seeing the country....seeing the farms and ranch's and the way people live out away from the city.....it can be a real experience......but at the risk of many things that can ruin a trip.....heck the first trip I made on my own there...I hit a huge horse with my rental car......thats reality.......

    I dont think a person can do the real domincan cultural experience in the first 3 or 4 trips with out good friends who know the ropes.....leading the way..

    one persons view

    bob

  8. #8
    I didn't last long...
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    Default Promoting their Resorts...........

    Rafael:

    Can we blame them for making sure we spend more money at their Resorts and spend our money using their tour services?. I don't.

    Should we believe them when they say that "it's dangerous to leave the Resorts", absolutely NOT.

    EVERYBODY should experience the DR though the eyes of the locals.

  9. #9
    *** Sin Bin ***
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    Well, you know what? You could get held up at gun point, assaulted, raped, even killed in the DR....But, hey, what else is new? this can happen in any place in the world! Even in your most "civilized" nations right?... I mean, would you go looking for excitement in Chicago's south side or New York's Harlem? Or SD's "Guachupita"! (really bad ghetto!). Eh?
    Like any country you visit, You've got your truly hell-holes, and blissful Edens. DR is no exception. So, darn it!, it is up to the visitors and locals alike, to have the common sense to study the obvious dissimilarities and recognize/realize the distinction and make a freaking, rational determination, and go from there! Me comprendes?....Coņo!... What is so mystifying about it?

  10. #10
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    Problem is when people do stupid things on vacation (which is often) their tour operators have to spend time and/or money (if it end ups in a lawsuit for example) to help the folks out. I do agree telling tourists not to go outside the resort unless its a licensed tour sold by them is ridiculous, but I can assure you its not blind greed but rather good business sense. I'm not here to defend it, I'm just explaining it. Some do make harsh safety inspections for the tours they sell as there are many unlicensed tours without insurance out there that would sell a motoconcho rides through downtown Puerto Plata during the rush hour and construction - if they could. So my point is that their intent is not harm the DR's image (even though they do) but they want to limit their exposure to ridiculous lawsuits and spending time at the hospital, morgue, or prison.

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