WHAT ABOUT MEXICO? Cancun Mexico by Corey Grant - Travel Agent - August 15, 2018August 15, 20180 WHAT ABOUT MEXICO? Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business. The Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protectvisitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that organized criminal groups have targeted U.S. visitors and residents based on their nationality. However with recent news coverage travelers have questions and concerns. The following “talking points” are summarized from advisories and alerts that our Travel Agents have as a resource though our market corporate support team. 1. While the U.S. State Department recently updated its longstanding Travel Warning for Mexico, it does NOT warn against Americans traveling there, rather it further clarifies the relative safety of each state within Mexico. The State Department does not say “Do not travel to Mexico.” 2. Major resort areas where Americans like to go, such as Cancun, Cozumel, the Riviera Maya and Cabo San Lucas are still considered quite safe. There are NO travel advisories in place for these areas or Mexico City, Yucatan, etc. Based on geographic size, Mexico is among the top 15 largest nations in the world. The distance between the U.S./Mexico border, where much of the violence takes place, and Cancun – which is one of the top destinations for Americans and Brits – is over 1,400 miles. That’s roughly the driving distance from Philadelphia to Dallas. 3. Mexico has also been included in recent news stories regarding tainted alcohol at resorts. Mexican authorities have seized alcohol from various resorts, and investigations are ongoing. These allegations are not part of the updated Travel Warning. Recent government reaction to these reports includes wide sweeps of resort properties and popular venues, and the crackdown has resulted in closures and the discovery of a suspect distributor. 4. Car jackings and road blocks have been reported in more isolated areas. Obviously traveling at night in isolated areas is not advisable. All travelers, no matter what country they visit, can take precautions to help ensure their safety and well-being. We recommend… Drink alcohol carefully and in moderation. Stop if you feel ill. Follow your instincts and avoid any areas or situations that seem as though they could become dangerous. Stay in the well-known tourist areas of the cities Know and respect the laws in the country you are visiting. Visit only legitimate businesses and tourist areas, and avoid areas where prostitution and drug dealing might occur. Leave your itinerary with a friend or family member back home. Check with your cell phone provider prior to departure to see if your phone is capable of roaming on GSM or 3G/4G international networks. Do not display expensive looking jewelry, large amounts of money or other valuable items. Make every attempt to travel during daylight hours, and stick to main roads. We also recommend that U.S. citizens follow the advice of the State Department and register their travel plans at https://step.state.gov. This will help the State Department contact travelers if there is a family emergency in the U.S., or in the event of an emergency while travelling outside the U.S. Finally, it is recommended that all travelers purchase travel insurance to protect themselves if they become ill or injured, particularly in a foreign country, and require medical treatment and/or evacuation. He or she can provide reputable, reasonable coverage to protect you. Book your travel through a professional agent, through someone you know, and who cares about you. Safety is the top priority for our clients.