Posts Tagged spring break

Mexico Holds Its Own with Spring Break Tourists

21 March 2012

Despite a steady stream of bad press, CNN reports that Mexico remains a popular destination for spring break vacationers, and continues to hold its place as the top foreign country visited by Americans for over two decades.  The Mexico Tourism Board estimates 52 million domestic and international tourists to the southeastern part of the country in 2012, thanks to public relations efforts to direct tourists to destinations which reflect the experience of most visitors to the country who stay away from Northern areas, which are plagued by cartel-related violence.

The press jumped on the heels of the latest U.S. Travel Advisory for Mexico in February, however Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, the CEO of Mexico’s Tourism Board views the advisory as a positive thing, saying he welcomed the extent to which the advisory pinpointed which areas to avoid, and which ones were safe.  Negrete told CNN:

“We try to put things within the proper context of making sure people understand that if there are problems in certain pockets of the country, that doesn’t mean the major resort destinations and city center destinations are in danger.  Mexico is a very large country, the size of western Europe, so it’s unfair to paint Mexico with such a massively broad stroke.”

There are many places in Mexico for which there is no travel advisory in effect, including Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, San Miguel de Allende, and Mexico City, the nation’s capital.  Travelers are always advised to exercise caution in order to avoid being victims of petty crime – a danger in all countries – however the drug-related violence focused on by the media is far removed from these destinations.

To read the full article, go here.

Despite Spring Break Crowds and Little Incident, Cancun Still Suffers from Tourist Worries

8 April 2011

Cancun, Mexico (Photo by Tom Lee Taiwan)

Kitty Bean Yancy’s article “Cancun, Is It Safe for Visitors” in USA Today’s travel section reports back from one of Cancun’s busiest tourist seasons – spring break.  The most popular vacation destination in the Caribbean is still suffering from all the negative media attention on Mexico, regarding drug related violence.  Even though tourism is on the upturn and spring 2011 saw many American college spring breakers, “the beach is not jammed. Hotel occupancy is 71%… the Cancun Hotel Association reports. That’s not impressive for a popular resort area in high season, when 80%-plus occupancy is usual.”  Yancy interviews both spring break tourists, Mexican travel operators, and official tourism industry sources, revealing a sobering picture of a beach town that relies sorely on its tourism industry.

Tourism officials are quick to point out that Cancun sits far away from the drug related violence that plagues Mexico’s border towns, and that “the safest people here are the tourists.”  Still, lower than usual tourist numbers persist, causing problems for Cancun’s local economy.  Reports of tourist casualties are quick to be picked up by the media, but numbers rarely tell the full story.  Although 18 Americans died in Cancun, Cozumel, and Mayan Riviera in the first six months 2010, most of them drowned.  According to the Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau, not one tourist has been killed by cartel-related violence.

As for the spring breakers, they’re playing it safe, having a good time, and reporting back with positive feedback about their Cancun experiences.

Said one college freshman, Samantha Kaleck, “We didn’t put ourselves in a position to be in harm. My friends and I decided that Cancun is only as unsafe as you make it. I would definitely, 100%, go back.”

Read the full article here.

Mexico still a popular destination for spring break goers

3 March 2011

Spring break students are still heading to Mexico in droves, according to reports from travel agents.  Many agents site factors such as a somewhat better U.S. economy, beautiful beaches and ultra cheap prices, which are particularly attractive to students.  Also, popular spring break destinations like Cancun, Carmen del Playa, Cabo San Lucas, and the Riviera Maya are far away from the border violence which has plagued Mexican tourism.

From the article:

Most U.S. travelers understand that the violence is confined to specific areas, she said. And a lot of college students, with their fixed income, are attracted to the all-encompassing deals at resorts.

“It boils down to value overall,” Gerhardt said. “People, particularly with the winter we’ve been having, they’re looking for sun and fun and value.”

Read the full article here.

Spring Break Travel: Safety and Mexican Beach Destinations

15 February 2011

Beachside in Cancun, Mexico. (Photo by Price Travel Mexico)

As Spring Break planning season begins to take way, some universities are telling students considering travel to Mexico to be careful.  Said a university spokesperson for Michigan State University, “The safety of our students is always a primary concern. For nonsanctioned trips, we recommend that students check in with the U.S. Department of State for appropriate warnings and travel warnings.”

MSU itself runs a study abroad program to Mexico during spring break, in which students volunteer at various nonprofit agencies in different parts of Mexico, including Cuernavaca, Puebla, Mérida and Oaxaca – cities which the university has deemed safe for travel.  Though the U.S. State Department urges travelers to stay away from Acapulco, a formerly popular resort and beach destination, assistant director of the Internationalizing Student Life program at MSU Carlos Fuentes says that the majority of students who head to Mexico for spring break focus on Cancun, the Mexican resort town most popular with college students and made popular back in the 90’s by MTV.

Bailey Krestakos, an MSU student who traveled to Amealco, Mexico for a spring break program last year, says the experience was positive, and though her group took precautions, she never felt like her safety was compromised.

“I think that you have to be aware of where you’re going and pay attention,” Krestakos said. “I do think it’s a mistake to have perceptions about an entire country based on what you see in the news.”

Read the full article here.