The State Department on Tuesday issued a travel advisory for Americans looking to visit the Dominican Republic, a top Caribbean destination, amid an increase in violent crime and sexual assaults.
A yellow flag-level two advisory was issued urging travelers heading to the Caribbean hotspot to “exercise increased caution.”
“Violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide, and sexual assault, is a concern throughout the Dominican Republic,” the department said in its advisory. “The wide availability of weapons, the use and trade of illicit drugs, and a weak criminal justice system contribute to the high level of criminality on the broader scale.”
The State Department noted that Americans looking to travel to resorts are likely safer as these areas “tend to be better policed than urban areas like Santo Domingo.”
The implementation of a 911 emergency call system in many parts of the country and a tourist police force have also made top destinations safer for Americans traveling to the eastern side of the island of Hispaniola.
The Dominican Republic shares Hispaniola with Haiti, which has seen some of the most dangerous and severe living conditions in the Western Hemisphere in recent years.
Gang violence in Haiti has ramped up drastically as poverty and corruption have run unchecked following the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.
But while the State Department has issued a stark Level 4 red-flag “Do not travel” advisory for Haiti, the Dominican Republic shares the same threat level alert as other top tourist destinations like France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K., and the Bahamas.
Fox News Digital could not immediately reach the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Tourism for comment, though the State Department issued its own suggestions for safe travel on the eastern part of Hispaniola.
If Americans do decide to hit the top Caribbean destination in the coming months, department officials have advised them to be aware of their surroundings and to not display signs of wealth by wearing expensive jewelry or watches.