By: Lisa Coleman
Travel host Peter Greenberg’s “Mexico: The Royal Tour” makes its debut tonight and Thursday on PBS channels across the country. A number of my friends attended the preview at the Guggenheim in New York, and several more are at tonight’s event in Los Angeles.
With Mexico’s President, Felipe Calderon, as his guide, the prolific Greenberg gets to explore the grandeur of Mexico in this exquisitely filmed travel profile. Despite portraying Mexico’s beauty to the world, Calderon has come under fire, not only from his detractors, but from his own government as well. The criticism: how could Calderon even endeavor such a project with the country in the obvious throws of drug violence and media assault.
The buzz on the internet today is pretty negative from the Mexican people, which to me is both surprising and disappointing. A blogger friend of mine in Cancun wrote, “It’s unfortunate that most of the Mexicans I have spoken to are pretty disdainful of the “Royal Tour” project. They of course are spouting off “He’s on vacation and making TV shows while he should be dealing with the security of our country!”
I absolutely don’t agree. Maybe the Mexican people can’t see the forest through the trees. As much as they need their President defending the war on drug cartels, they also need him to champion his own country. Tourism is one of the primary sources of revenue to the entire country, and according to the World Tourism Council, provides over 3 million jobs throughout Mexico. You would think the people (and the government) would understand the importance of such a program and positive implications across the board for all of Mexico.
As Calderon himself told the press in New York, “There were a lot of risks,” he said. “There was a lot of criticism. People even in my own administration said it was a mistake. But it was an opportunity for me to show Mexico to people around the world.” I applaud you President Calderon. In my opinion, this program was the right decision for Mexico.
Disclosure: I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the México Today Program. All stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared here are completely my own. Mexico Today is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination.