Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Mexico tourism booms despite drug violence

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 |

By AP

The gruesome headlines from Mexico's drug war may be the stuff of nightmares, but there is little sign the millions of foreign tourists who visit the country each year are losing much sleep over it.

Not only has international tourism not suffered in Mexico because of the violence, the number of travelers was up 12.4 percent in the first quarter of the year, Mexico's tourism minister said Wednesday.

US, Canadian and European airlines are adding capacity to meet the demand, and Mexico is experiencing big jumps in tourism from places like Brazil and China that until recently were not on its radar.

And yet at the same time parts of the country have seen extraordinarily high levels of violence as drug cartels fight over turf and with government forces. More than 34,000 people have been killed over the past five years.

Kidnappings of busloads of migrants, discoveries of hundreds of bodies in mass graves, daily assassinations have dominated the news from Mexico, prompting an expanded US travel warning in April.

"We have a challenge. We acknowledge that," said Tourism Minister Gloria Guevara in an interview with AFP. "But at the same time that challenge is remote and far away from touristic destinations."

She said drug-related violence has occurred in just 80 of the country's 2,500 municipalities, most of them around three cities along the country's northern border with the United States.

"The reality is that Mexico is a large country, it has a lot of cities," said Guevara, speaking on the sidelines of a Global Travel and Tourism Summit here.

"As in the US, if something happens in Las Vegas, does that mean we're not going to go to New York? Of course not," she said.

Most of Mexico's 22.4 million international visitors go to the Cancun, Costa Maya, Cozumel area (43 percent). Another 14 percent go to the Cabo area in Baja California; 14 percent to Mexico City; and 10 percent to Puerto Vallarta.

Some 51 million daytrippers are still crossing the border each year to shop and play in Mexico, and then going back home at night.

Of the longer term visitors, most fly to Mexico but a significant proportion also enter by land to tourist destinations.

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25 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Gari for posting information for us on BB, although they are not translation material of what we prefer, it is still refreshing to see some of the articles from other English sources. There are a lot of writers listed on the right side of this page who do not post anything, any reason why?

J said...

I honestly don't know if this is true, I hope it is, I'm glad those destinations are still bringing in business. But, there are def. deserted areas, all over Mexico, that were tourist spots in the past.

Anonymous said...

NObaody in their right mind is a "daytripper" from US to Mexico. This is BS reporting. Not sure where this information is coming from. Sound like they want to change Mexico's image.

Anonymous said...

This article is hard to believe. Historically, the most day-tripper traffic has been in the Tijuana/Rosarito area. The latter city hardly has any gringo visitors anymore along it's beach and main boulevard. Maybe the Mexican-American tourists have returned but I don't know they could be separately counted. They sure aren't staying in the hotels.

Anonymous said...

Dont post facts, I have a friend of a friend who works across the street from a friend whos Aunt lives across the border and she says...................................

Anonymous said...

I live in Mexico and maybe I need to get my eyes checked but tourism is DEAD. I drive a lot and rarely see a non national. The beaches are 50% occupied by tourists instead of the usual 100%. San Miguel is a ghost town compared to two years ago. Where do you get your information?

Anonymous said...

The tourism has gone down significantly!! I mean the poor guy on the mexico side trying to sell little souveniers and food is getting extorted for the little he makes. Ive been to Mexico recently to visit family. THats it visit family!! Gone are the days where I would visit my family and go sightseeing or shopping in town. For fear of getting picked up or hassled by the police for money. :(

Anonymous said...

I am in Mexico also and I can also say that tourism is dead. I NEVER see white faces anymore. This is just an attempt by some shill reporter in the US to make Mexico look good. It's simply a lie.

Anonymous said...

"US, Canadian and European airlines are adding capacity to meet the demand" Duh... It's because the Mexicans don't want to take buses anymore (especially through San Franando)
"Mexico is experiencing big jumps in tourism from places like Brazil and China that until recently were not on its radar" These aren't tourists these are illegals trying to get to US - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703509104576331201503484040.html

Anonymous said...

The article is misleading....

I have lived in Mexico for 12 years and tourism is definitely off. But I know when I speak to my American or Canadian friends, they have no idea about what is going on here.

Also, so many gringos have no concept of the violence and treat it like gang violence back home where it doesn't affect the average person. I often hear the comment "there's crime everywhere, but it won't affect me"

And travel deals to Mexico are unbelievable. $600 for flight, all inclusive hotel and taxes for a week from Canada. So people pretend that crime is only in "bad" areas and won't affect them.

And they are right. It won't affect them...until it does. But the consequences are life and death.

It doesn't help that that there is virtually no coverage of the daily murders in the US or the rest of the world.

Anonymous said...

This article is BS!!! I have lived in Cancun for the past 15 years. Im a Scuba Diving Instructor and tourism/business is down! Cancun has lost about 60-70% tourism, Isla Mujeres has definetly dropped to about 30% it is bad we are all hurting. I'm thinking about moving back to San Diego.

Anonymous said...

So I decided to do some research from all these so called anonymous Americans living in Mexico or visiting Mexico and I found the following:

From Asociación de Hoteles de Cancún they are currently reporting the following today 60.4% In GENERAL 61% ZONA HOTELERA 68.4% ALL INCLUSIVE 53% CIUDAD. So that a load of BS "Cancun has lost about 60-70% tourism."
Source: http://www.ahqr.com.mx/espanol/ahqr.php

In los Cabos se Registran Los Cabos más del 90% de ocupación hotelera Source: http://www.bcs.gob.mx/directorio-general.html?catid=12

I think its very easy for anyone trying to discredit the numbers esp someone posing as Anonymous jaja.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the 2 Cancuenses. It seems like the entire expat community has its collective head deeply buried in the sand and refuse to see what is going on around them. I used to be like them but about 6 months woke up. They figure anyone who dies must be "dirty". I'm absolutely disgusted with them.

Anonymous said...

I have worked for a travel agency for 12 years. Our Mexico sales are down 65-70% from last year. Certainly makes me question the validity of the report.

Anonymous said...

LMAO at these fake self identifying "Mexicans", it seems like gringos want Mexico to collapse but Mexico is no where bad as the media says. In fact there is a lot more crime overall per capita in the U.S, over 15,000 people are murdered in the U.S each year and 800,000 go missing also. Also domestic violence, home invasions, theft, rapings (is 20 times more higher in the U.S than Mexico) are way higher per capita than Mexico. Black men rape 34,000 white women each year and that's only counting rapings on Black men to white women, don't forget child molestations done by white men done to children.

Anonymous said...

Mexicos tourism minister is a big fat liar mexican officials have reported 79 deaths so far this year in the state of durango My count is over 300 stop and think 218 bodies found in graves alone. I live close to durango ( mazatlan ) so I watch the news there often Everybody lies in mexico the deaths are under reported. Do you think for a moment he would say the truth "Come to mexico and get your head cut off" and to anomymous get your numbers stright you are way way off I was a cop in ca for 24 years and your crime numbers are no where close, and you dont live here in mexico thats for sure.

Anonymous said...

I can surely tell you, there's no Americans in Acapulco!! I know many still go to Cancun, but I doubt the numbers and like the scuba guys said...BS and I would take his opinion over others.

My friend is in PV now...It was crowded this weekend with Mexicans, not too many Gringos.

Layla2 said...

RE: Assoc of Cancun Hotels data--60% is bad numbers for occupancy.

Layla2 said...

2011 Tourist To Do List in Mexico:

1. Daytripping thru the Zeta tulips at Falcon lake
2. See the Bedheadings in Acapulco (yea I spelled it right.)
3. Visiting Durango archeological sites
4. There's plenty of room at the Hotel Cancun
5. Round trip for 2, 5 day stay from Canada to anywhere on the Yucatan peninsula = $500

Anonymous said...

Only an IDIOT would go anywhere near Mexico! if they do then they deserve what ever happens to them...

Anonymous said...

@Layla2
What the hell are you talking about 60% is bad numbers for occupancy? Really? Do you even know what your talking about or how to calculate occupancy? Those are not bad numbers considering its not even summer yet or any major holidays this month...your not always going to have a 100% percent occupancy.

Anonymous said...

I would feel safer in Afghanistan...

'lito'brito said...

jajaja...and what makes anyone think the dept of turismo is any more honest than any of the rest of the lying ass Mexican govt...of course they are trying to make it all seem safe...

CORRUPTION...with a capital C..

Anonymous said...

You KNOW the Dept of Turismo begged AP to put out this story. You KNOW they did. Probably threw in some free rooms and plane tickets.

Of course it's bullshit. It's a spin.

All these "I live in Mexico and I know what's going on people" - please, Mexico is the last place to look for the truth even if you do want to find it.

Anonymous said...

You people are NUTS.
Stop trying to make Mexico look bad!
Tourism in Mexico is still very high like its always been. And if anything it will continue to grow due to new Resorts being set to open in the near future.

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