According to Travel Pulse, Mexican hoteliers are organizing a U.S. tour of the Mexican Caribbean in hopes of combating the recent U.S. State Department travel warning and reinforcing the region’s reputation as a safe destination for travelers.
According to Reportur.mx, the tourist caravan will be led by the Tourism Secretariat of Quintana Roo and the hotel sector.
It will feature visits to the region’s top tourist hot spots, including Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
Last month’s updated travel warning issued by the U.S. State Department warned of increased homicide rates in Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur—two states frequented by American tourists.
“Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the level of drug-related violence and crime that are reported in the border region or in areas along major trafficking routes,” the State Department noted in the August 22 update.
“The crime rates in U.S. cities are higher than those registered in Mexico, but are publicized by interests opposed to tourism; that’s why the warning was a statistical one, that the number of homicides has increased, but it’s not a restrictive warning, it’s a precautionary measure of where tourists can go,” said Palace Resorts shareholder and vice president of the National Business Tourism Council (CNET), Jose Chapur Zahuol, via Sipse.
The tour organizers will look to present tourists, service providers and other U.S. authorities with reliable facts and statistics highlighting the area’s security and growth.
“As the travel warning notes, there have been situations among individuals involved in criminal activities,” the Mexico Tourism Board in a statement said in a statement on the heels of last month’s updated warning. “We can add that the overwhelming majority of those incidents have taken place in locations like inner-city areas or private properties that aren’t frequented by international visitors.”
Chapur Zahuol points out that U.S. tourism to Cancun has grown 11 percent over the last year, mirroring the growth of national tourism overall.
In anticipation of a potential dip in American visitors in wake of the travel warning, Reportur.mx reports that the Hotel Association of Cancun (AHC) is also organizing a campaign aimed at drawing more tourists from Canada, South America and Mexico.
Earlier this year, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reported that Mexico surpassed Turkey as the eighth-most popular tourist destination in the world, hosting 35 million visitors during 2016.
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