Dominican Tourism Minister Accuses Vogue Magazine of Lack of Objectivity

The Minister of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, Francisco Javier García, sent a letter to Vogue magazine regarding the publication of the image of a beach of the country that, in the opinion of the official, is «unfair» and «lacks balance and objectivity» journalistic.

The British edition of the magazine advanced on Instagram some of the content of its August issue, in which it posts photos of different landscapes of the world, being one of the snapshots of an area of Samana Bay, in the northwest of the country, which appears full of garbage. In the missive addressed to the editor of the publication, Edward Enningful, and disclosed on Monday by Tourism, the minister stated that this image does not correspond to the reality of the beautiful and well-kept beaches of the Dominican Republic, a leading country of tourism in the Caribbean region. Garcia expressed his surprise and "concern about the unfortunate decision to present the photograph of a contaminated site in Samana as part of the covers of the Vogue Challenge 14th Special Commission Landscape Covers".Vogue UK's decision to "point out a problem in the Dominican Republic by making a comparison with beautiful images from other destinations is unfair and lacks balance and objectivity. We consider this to be a contempt of journalistic ethics and values," the letter added. The official clarified to the Editor of Vogue that the site shown in the photograph is at the mouth of the Yuna River, without much ease of access and far from the main beaches of that area. He also regretted that he showed that image at "a time when the revival of the tourism industry is crucial for the country, with thousands of families depending on it, we find it deplorable that they chose to exhibit such a lacerating image." "We know for sure that we are not the only country facing the challenge of balancing the care of the environment and responsible development of tourism," Garcia added. He also stressed that, for years, his Ministry has been coordinating with the mayors of each area to organize beach cleaning brigades on an ongoing basis, and assured his interlocutor that the country's beaches "are clean and ready to visit."