Mexican tourism industry in ‘damage-control mode’ following U.S. travel advisory update

People awaiting their flights (Photo: Diario de Yucatan)

According to Travel Weekly, Mexico’s tourism industry has gone into damage control mode as tour operators reported that bookings to the country were taking a hit following the State Department’s recent travel warning that cited increased homicide rates in the resort states of Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur.

“If you compare the rate in terms of homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in any city in the world, those particular destinations are very low,” said Alfonso Sumano, international offices director for the Mexico Tourism Board. “I’m not saying that there are no problems … but the Mexico authorities are aware of certain incidents or certain problems that they have been facing in areas close to the destinations but not affecting any tourists or people enjoying the destinations.

“I truly believe that the travel advice, that the travel recommendation, is very clear and they are not recommending not to go, they are just recommending to use your common sense,” he added.

Sumano pointed out that Mexico had a 12.6% increase in U.S. visitors in July 2017 compared with July 2016, and an 11.8% increase, or 6.7 million additional U.S. visitors, from January through July 2017 compared with the same period the year before.

But that growth appears to potentially be in jeopardy following the updated travel warning, which came on the heels of a series of reports alleging that potentially tainted alcohol was being served at all-inclusive Mexican properties.

Tour operators reported that following the Aug. 22 release of the updated travel warning, they began experiencing a slowdown in Mexico bookings and an increase in cancellations.

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