Local November 18, 2011 | 8:47 am

Hotelier’s cry against thugs could fall on Dominican leader’s deaf ears

Santo Domingo.- The hotels and tourism businesses grouped in Asonahores on Thursday asked the Government to bring order to the traffic and transport in the resort areas, to prevent incidents which irreparably damage a sector of such importance for the country’s economic health.

Asonahores’ statement however may fall on deaf ears as president Leonel Fernandez, in this and his two previous terms in office, has revealed fear of the bus and truck unions, which have been christened “the country’s owners” by the media, as the result of their numerous criminal actions that go unpunished.

It also comes in the wake of the National Business Council’s (Conep) complaint of “truck and bus drivers’ vandalism aimed at maintaining their monopoly, curtailing the free competition and access to the transport market,” in detriment of tourism and all transport users. “We share Conep’s concern on the passenger transport in tourism zones, where situations that put tourists at risk are constantly staged and which seriously mar the country’s international image.”

It said driver unions frequently stage violent actions against whom they call “pirates,” which frighten tourists, who are often dismounted from vehicles by force, and coerced into using others.

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