We recently received this email from Jorge Gamboa, Director of the MTB’s office in Los Angeles, and thought we should share it with everyone—industry people and all you wonderful consumers of Mexico tourism. It contains some very important and relevant comments on the recently issued travel alert, which was most emphatically NOT a warning. However, because the media (unfortunately) loves to trumpet bad news, we wanted to publish a bit of sanity here on MexicoPremiere.com.
Please read on, and we hope you’ll base your travel decisions on reality, not hype.
As you may be aware, the US Department of State has extended a travel alert to Mexico. The text of the alert has remained virtually unchanged, with a few additional border areas being added to the list of those where extra caution is recommended.
In case your customers ask you about the alert, here are a few important things to know:
• This is not a new alert. It is an extension of an alert already in place.
• What has been extended is a travel alert, not a warning. Travel warnings are issued to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable, and/or when the U.S. Government’s ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff. A travel alert, on the other hand, disseminates information about short-term conditions of which U.S. citizens abroad should be aware to maximize their safety.
• The alert for Mexico does not discourage U.S. citizens from traveling to the country’s tourist destinations.
• The main tourist destinations for U.S. citizens are geographically far from the very specific areas included in the alert. For example, Cancun, Los Cabos and Acapulco are at least a two-hour flight away from the main areas identified in the alert. The distance from Cancun to Ciudad Juarez is 1,312 miles – approximately the same distance between New York and Miami (1,290 miles), Chicago and Laredo, Texas (1,395 miles), or Los Angeles to Oklahoma City (1,328 miles).
• More than 21.5 million international tourists visited Mexico in 2009. Air arrivals from the U.S. in December 2009 were up approximately 6.2% from December 2008, demonstrating that U.S. travelers view Mexico’s unique vacation destinations and attractions as safe and violence in northern Mexico as unrelated to Mexico’s principal tourist destinations.
• More than one million Americans reside in Mexico.
We greatly appreciate your help and support
Mexico Tourism Board Director – Los Angeles