Published On: Mon, Jul 1st, 2019

Steve Harvey’s Dominican Republic ‘Sand & Soul’ festival is moving to Cancun

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Steve Harvey’s Sand & Soul festival is moving locations to Cancun from the Dominican Republic amid concerns over US tourist deaths at all-inclusive resorts.

The third-annual Steve Harvey Sand and Soul Festival was set to take place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana, in October — but an email seen by INSIDER shows festival organizers announcing it will now be held at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico.

“We know this change has been a lot to process, but Mr. Harvey and our entire staff appreciate your patience and your trust in us to provide you with a stellar experience,” the email said. “This new resort is in no way a ‘downgrade’ and we can’t wait to show you a fabulous time.”

Festival organizers told people who have already booked flights to contact the airlines to request changes, saying many will offer “‘no change fee’ policies.”

The festival announced last week that it was changing locations, citing “a lot of negative media in the recent weeks surrounding the Dominican Republic and its safety for tourists to travel.”

Several US tourists have died while staying at all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic within the past year. Most of them died from heart attacks, pulmonary edemas, or other apparent natural causes.

Two tourists have died at the hotel that Sand & Soul was supposed to be held at, the Hard Rock in Punta Cana.

The US State Department told INSIDER that it doesn’t publish data regarding natural deaths abroad, but said there has not been “an uptick in the number of US citizen deaths reported” in the Dominican Republic compared to previous years.




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