Monthly Archives: October 2010

Mexico Guru’s Rules for Traveling Safely in Mexico

28 October 2010

The Mexico Guru has written a great article, outlining rules to follow for traveling safely in Mexico.  Some of those rules include traveling during the day, traveling in groups, and being aware of your surroundings.  These are great general guidelines to follow when traveling in any foreign country.  From the article:

You don’t have to look far for warnings about travel in Mexico. There are reports of thefts, robberies, even rape. There are stories of car-jackings and muggings, extortions and set-ups. If you listen too hard or too long, you might never leave home again.  For the average tourist, however, violence and mayhem can almost always be avoided by following a few basic precautions.

As we’ve said before on this blog, being a safe traveler is all about taking simple precautions and exercising common sense.  To read the full article, go here.

8th Annual International Film Festival Sees Large Turnout in Mexico

20 October 2010

Oscar winning actor Javier Bardem was one of many star studded guests at Mexico's 8th Annual International Film Festival (Photo by Greg Hernandez)

The 8th Annual Morelia International Film Festival in Michoacán opened to its largest turnout ever on Saturday, where hundreds lined the red carpets to see their favorite star studded guests.  Hollywood notable guests included director of Brazil and Monty Python fame Terry Gilliam, Academy Award winning Spanish actor Javier Bardem, and celebrated Mexican directors Robert Rodriguez (Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Planet Terror, and upcoming Machete) and Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu (Babel, Amores Perros).

The AP article noted the contrast of Mexico in the media and up close, saying:

From afar it seems like Baghdad: car bombs, beheadings and corrupt politicians.  Up close, Mexico remains magical and picturesque in parts, feeling oddly safe even in the hardest-fought territories of the drug war.

When asked to comment on Mexico’s violence, Innaritu told the Associated Press that culture and education are important weapons against it.  The festival is quickly becoming a top international film festival.  This year it had 270 entries and 500 invited guests, 100 of which were foreign.

Mexico Tourism Jumps by Almost 20 Percent in 2010

18 October 2010

From The La Times, international tourism to  Mexico made a sharp increase this summer 2010 – jumping to 7.1 million foreign visitors by air in the first 8 months of the year.  Of those visitors, 4.33 million were Americans, and 1.3 million visitors came from Canada, with 200,513 from Spain.  Compared to the same period in 2009, the increase in tourism is up by almost 20%.  According to the article, analysts attribute the jump in visitors to U.S. travelers feeling more confident to spend on travel again and seeing Mexico as a great bargain for vacations.  This is in spite of reports of Mexico’s drug violence, which travelers seem to understand is concentrated in only a few areas.  From the La Times:

Southern California travel agents say U.S. tourists don’t seem too concerned about drug violence because they know to stay far from the border. “As long as you stay in the resort areas, you’ll have no problem,” McConnell said.

The sharp increase in Mexico’s tourism is significant because many analysts predicted only a modest growth in travel worldwide.  But for bargain travel destinations like Mexico, global growth predictions may not apply.

Mexico’s Bicentennial Marks Upturn in Mexican Tourism

9 October 2010

Fantastic fireworks and visuals were on display during Mexico's Bicentennial celebrations. (Photo by spotreporting)

Mexico’s joyous 200th Independence Anniversary fiesta went off with fanfare, bringing tens of thousands of Mexicans to the streets in celebration.  It also, according to MSNBC, brought throngs of American tourists.  In fact, travel providers have reported an increase in bookings in 2010, and “Alfonso Sumano, regional director of the Americas for the tourist board, said Mexico expects to see the number of visitors and their expenditures return to 2008 levels this year. Tourists have already spent $6.49 billion in just the first six months of 2010.”

This is good news for Mexico, which has suffered unfairly due to exaggerated and un-contextualized media reports of its drug-related violence, most of which is concentrated in border towns.  Western Hemisphere Affairs division chief in the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, Hugo Rodriguez, told MSNBC: “Much of the crime in Mexico is related to drug-trafficking, the majority committed in areas that are not traditional tourist destinations.”  It’s also good news for the U.S. – after the economic downturn, Americans are traveling again.  And many are headed to Mexico’s beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts, and charming, historical cities.

Read the full article here.

Mexico, A Reality Check

9 October 2010

Charles Simpson gives a great reality check on Mexico and its economic future.  He points out, as many do, that it’s critical to understand Mexico’s drug-related violence is mostly concentrated in 3 transhipping cities.  Despite the problems with drug trafficking, Mexico’s banks are “healthy and profitable” and the  “recent introduction of residential financing has Mexico in a unique position of having over 90% of current homeowners owning their house outright.”  It’s also one of the reasons Mexico is “the number one retirement destination in the world.”  The article offers some great statistics and compelling reasons why Mexico should not be overlooked by the American retiree.  Read more here.