Hundreds of tourists, primarily from the United States, have canceled vacations here following military intervention in last week's presidential election and continued political instability.
Members of the National Hotel Association, meeting with foreign journalists Tuesday night denounced what they described as a "negative" image of the Dominican Republic resulting from "alarmist" news stories.
Throughout the tense period, which began May 17 when soliders occupied vote-tabulating centers, there have been only scattered reports of violence - although four deaths were reported last week in one outlying city.
The final election results still are unknown but troops that initially occupied the capital were withdrawn Thursday and this week Santo Domingo has returned to normal. Just after disruption of the vote count, which had shown a heavy load for the opposition to three-term incumbent President Josquin Balaguer, the city had virtually closed down.
While vote counting resumed Friday, and continued Monday, it has now been suspended until the end of the week. With two-thirds of the votes tallied, opposition candidate Antonio Guzman holds a 120,000 vote lead.
Electoral officials reported problems in gathering results from several outlying districts. The opposition has charged that the missing results are in the hands of electoral officials who have gone into hiding because they fear the military.
Government officials say the armed forces, which openly favored Balaguer's reelection, have been ordered to stop any harassment.
Reporters from several U.S. news agencies, broadcast networks and newspapers who attended the meeting with hotel managers argued that they had accurately described a political situation that, in view of the Dominican Republic's volatile history, could explode.
Although the Dominican resort industry is still in its infancy, several deluxe hotels were built in the last two years and the sector employs more than 5,000 persons.
The past winter season was the best ever and advanced bookings indicated a recordbreaking spring and summer.
Since last week, however, at least a dozen charter trips have been canceled. A local spokesman for Gulf an Western, a U.S.-based mutinational firm that operates three resort complexes near Santo Domingo, said seven charter flights have canceled reservations at the company's Santo Domingo Hotel this week alone.
Most tourists who were here at the time of the election quickly fled following the military action, and many deluxe hotels report occupancy rates of less than 10 percent. The hotel managers have warned of massive layoffs.
The managers voiced particularly strong objections to American television news broadcasts of footage from the 1965 revolution here in which U.S. Marines joined Dominican troops against rebel forces. They complained that rebroadcasts of the 13-year old film falsely implied that similar disturbances were occurring now.