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.
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