23 May When it Comes to Mexico, Don’t Believe Everything You Read
If you pay attention to the news, you have probably seen some misleading reports about Mexico recently. These can and have had a very negative impact on the country’s reputation and the tourism industry here.
They say that perception is reality, but in the case of tourist safety here, this adage does not apply. Let’s take a look at some of the recent headlines in the news regarding this gorgeous country.
Misconception: Seaweed is taking over Mexico’s beaches
Reality: The seaweed problem only affects certain areas of Mexico’s coast.
Sargassum algae, also known as seaweed, is accumulating in certain areas of Mexico’s coast. However, it is not affecting every beach. The problem is only occuring along the Caribbean Coast, while the Pacific Coast and the beach destinations here have remained unimpacted by the seaweed issue. You may have seen a recent headline in the Associated Press (AP) leading readers to believe that the problem has affected the entire country. This would be like saying all of America’s beaches had a seaweed issue when it was only Florida that was affected. USA Today countered this misleading article from AP. They published a more accurate portrayal of the areas affected by an over-accumulation of seaweed in parts of the country only.
Misconception: Violence is everywhere in Mexico & Tourists aren’t safe
Reality: Only certain parts of Mexico are dangerous. Violent individuals do not target tourists.
Much like America, certain parts of Mexico are affected by gang violence and other forms of violence that make it dangerous. For instance, the South side of Chicago is notoriously crime-ridden and constantly making headlines for shootings and other crime. The rest of Chicago is relatively safe – I have lived here for 4 years now and have never once witnessed violence.
The same goes for Mexico. Gang violence does not affect Mexico’s popular tourist areas. It is true that a bar shooting occurred in Playa del Carmen last week. However, according to the Tourism Promotion Council of Quintana Roo (a very reputable source), zero tourists were involved in the unfortunate incident. The incident occurred outside the tourist area at an establishment frequented mostly by local residents.
The State of Quintana Roo commits to maintain the safety of its destinations. They are taking proactive steps towards this goal, including:
- Modernizing its police and security services
- Investing in technology, including 3,000 surveillance cameras mostly in Cancun and Playa del Carmen
- Upgrading operations centers
- Partnering with members of the tourism industry to share international best practices
Of course we must preface this that it is always important to exercise common sense in an unfamiliar country. Heed the advice of your travel agent and hotel staff. In addition, do not engage in risky or illegal behavior while on vacation anywhere.
Promote Mexico tourism
Tourism is the largest industry in Mexico, with a record 10.6 million tourists visiting the country in just the first quarter of 2018. Tourism is a huge source of income for the country. It brought in nearly $20 billion last year and employs hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens.
Support the people of this country and the tourism industry here! Book your own visit to Mexico today! Call us at 402-390-9291 and ask for one of our Mexico travel specialists.