Mexico Tourism Board Issues Response to Texas Safety Warning
In response to a recent warning from the Texas Department of Public Safety, urging spring breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico due to safety concerns, the Mexico Tourism Board has issued a statement describing Mexican tourist destinations as “among the safest, most welcoming and relaxing tourist destinations in the world.”
On March 1, the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a warning discouraging spring breakers from traveling to Mexico. According to the advisory, “The Texas Department of Public Safety is urging Spring Breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico because of continued violence -- and reminding boaters to stay on the U.S. side of Falcon Lake.” Straddling the Texas-Mexico border, Falcon Lake was were a U.S. fisherman was killed last spring when he was allegedly shot by Mexican pirates.
In the statement, DPS Director Steven McCraw said, “While drug cartel violence is most severe in northern Mexico, it is prominent in other parts of the country as well. Various crime problems also exist in many popular resort areas, such as Acapulco and Cancun, and crimes against U.S citizens often go unpunished. … Drug violence has not discriminated -- innocent bystanders and people who may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time are among the casualties. Underestimating the violence in Mexico would be a mistake for parents and students. Our safety message is simple: avoid traveling to Mexico during Spring Break and stay alive.”
The Texas statement further acknowledges that “many travel to Mexico without incident, but the risks cannot be ignored. Travelers are encouraged to carefully research any planned trips.”
In response, the Mexico Tourism Board issued the following response: “We understand that many people have concerns about the recent travel advisory for the entire nation of Mexico issued by the state of Texas Department of Public Safety. Mexican tourist destinations are very safe. As the U.S. Department of State has noted, ‘millions of U.S. citizens travel safely to Mexico each year,’ including those who come every day for study, tourism or business and at least one million U.S. citizens who live in Mexico."
“Last year more than 22 million foreigners visited Mexico, including more than 2.5 million traveling by air from the state of Texas alone,” according to the Mexico Tourism Board. “We are pleased to announce that in December 2010, the number of people flying out of Texas into Mexico was up by 12 percent on previous years, and that December 2010 saw our best month regarding the volume of people on flights over the last decade. Internationally celebrated destinations such as Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, to name a few, are among the safest, most welcoming and relaxing tourist destinations in the world. In addition, Mexican tourism destinations have lower crime rates than other prominent tourist destinations. There could not be a better time to visit Mexico. We encourage anyone considering a vacation in Mexico to speak to any of the millions of visitors who chose to vacation at our resorts last year, and are planning on visiting again next year.” For more information, visit www.visitmexico.com or www.txdps.state.tx.us.