Susan Glaser, Travel Editor for The Plain Dealer, has a special interest in family travel and regional destinations. She recently published an article on www.cleveland.com with comments from residents of Cleveland responding to the expanded Mexico travel warning issued recently by the U.S. Department of State….
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Susan Glaser asked readers whether the State Department’s recently expanded travel warning to Mexico, which now includes the popular resort areas of Cancun and Los Cabos, would affect their travel plans.
She received a wide range of responses – from travelers who said they will not be deterred to tourists who have already canceled their plans. And in between: Travelers who are confused and aren’t sure what to do.
Here are a selection of responses from Facebook and email (note: readers’ names used with permission):
***We were aware of many of the crime issues in Mexico, but understood most of the tourist areas to be safe. The travel advisory came out the week after we had paid the balance of our cruise in full. The advisory specifically mentioned several popular tourist destinations were included due to the spread of criminal activity into these areas. We did some additional research and decided the risk, with basically our whole family involved, was not worth it. Mentally, the worry would greatly detract from the experience. We were in Cozumel many years ago on a cruise stop, prior to the crime issues they are now experiencing.
–Jack, from Cincinnati
***We are booked at the Valentin Imperial in Riviera Maya, Mexico for February. No offense, but the dangers are overhyped by the MEDIA. They get an isolated incident (see Natalee Holloway, Aruba) and blow it way out of proportion. Ten million people visit the Cancun/Riviera Maya area every year. Most bad things that happen to them are self-inflicted.
–Bob and Eleanore Bazik, Medina
***We travel to Mexico almost every year for the last 30 years and never once had any issues. We tend to go to smaller, less developed areas and stay away from larger tourist destinations. We went to Riviera Maya before it was Riviera Maya. Once the all-inclusives and large resorts arrived, we moved on to Tulum and Mahahual. Now that Tulum is going the way of Riviera Maya, we are in to the southern Pacific Coast. We buy from local markets, eat with locals typically and we speak limited Spanish. We walk quiet residential streets at 11 p.m. and ride local buses.
I think the larger crowds of tourists attract criminals looking to take advantage of those who aren’t paying attention to what’s going on. If you are out drinking in New York, Chicago, L.A. – even Cleveland at 2 a.m., you are much more likely to run into some sort of trouble.
So would I go to Cancun or Cabo or Puerto Vallarta? No, but I wouldn’t even if there wasn’t crime. But I have no qualms about going to other spots — which I promised our American and Canadian friends I won’t name because once they turn into Cancun, we are outta there.
–Andy Powell, Shaker Heights
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