Richard Rubenstein

The Dominican Republic extended its contract with Rubenstein PR, which was hired in June following the mysterious deaths of nine American tourists on the island.

The New York-based firm provides crisis communications and advisory services to the DR regarding its tourism sector and its impact on the economy and the Caribbean country's standing in the world.

Francisco Javier Garcia, tourism minister, briefed reporters in New York on Sept. 12 about the DR's commitment to the safety of visitors.

He promised tougher inspections of hotel/resort properties and foodservice, increased security and creation of an emergency tourist center to act as liaison between the government, tourists and their families.

Garcia also complained about the "bombardment" of media reports about the dead tourists and said, "there has been a process of clarifying all the information that was needed, but damage has been done."

Rubenstein signed a three-month contract on June 12 with the DR's consulate general in NY. It was worth $35K per month.

The extension is on a month-to-month based at $28,500 monthly.

Richard Rubenstein oversees the DR work.