Following the March 3 kidnapping of four Americans in the Mexican border city of Matamoros, the US State Department issued a new travel warning for various areas of Mexico. The new advisories sparked a flurry of headlines spotlighting Mexico as an unsafe destination for travel. However, a closer look at the travel warnings and discussions with Mexican travel experts revealed that these warnings are again sensationalized and Mexico remains a safe destination for tourism.
“Counselors and myself did not argue. [by the abductions]”Nobody I know is selling Matamoros as a travel destination,” said Hope Smith, an independent contractor with Montecito Village Travel. “We know where Matamoros is in terms of where our customers are going.”
What does travel advice say?
The current State Department travel advisory shows state-by-state conditions that the U.S. government advises travelers to take precautions. There are only six states on the “Do Not Travel” list, and none of these states are major tourism destinations for American travelers. The six states in the list are:
The city of Matamoros, where the kidnapping took place, is in the state of Tamaulipas, bordering Brownsville, Texas. Most of the other states in the travel advisory have been on the advisory list for many, many years because of crime. However, the reason the Matamoros news made headlines is because crime directly related to tourists is incredibly rare in Mexico.
Further reading on travel advisories on the State Department’s site, while certain states may have Level 2 travel warnings, most popular tourist destinations in those states do not have travel restrictions. These include:
• Cabo San Lucas
• San Jose del Cabo
• San Cristóbal de las Casas
• San Miguel de Allende
• City of Guanajuato
• Port of Vallarta
• Mexico City
• Riviera Nayarit
• Oaxaca City
• Monte Alban
• Hidden port
• Women’s island
• Carmen Beach
• Riviera Maya
• State of Yucatan
Is Mexico safe to travel?
It’s a question we all hear. The answer is one. Mexico is a big country. It is a safe country for tourism but like any destination there are things to keep in mind.
Travel Mexico, one of the leading luxury travel experts and DMCs in Mexico, recently did an interview with ABC News Bay Area to clarify a few points.
Zach Rabinor, CEO of Mexico Travel, told ABC News, “Mexico is big. It needs more granularity, it needs more destination-specific information. There really aren’t any restrictions for most of the most popular tourist destinations.”
Mexico Travel’s Instagram page posted an informative reel regarding this as a big deal. Mexico has 32 states and the level of risk varies greatly between tourist destinations and destinations further away from any tourist.
“I haven’t seen a drop in inquiries or a lot of concern from my clients,” said Sharon Walters, owner of Sharon Walters Travel. “I have families who visit destinations like Los Cabos and Punta Mita year after year and are still planning to travel this year. In fact, I have clients in Mexico almost every week. The subject [of safety] It will come, but you will know the differences of the destinations and understand that the resorts and places are safe to travel.
What to say to customers
While most consultants have no questions about travel safety to Mexico, there are a few things that can be said if a consultant receives a safety question.
No matter where you travel, basic travel sense should always be applied. This includes advice such as staying on main roads, not driving at night, not wandering into unfamiliar neighborhoods, keeping calm and not getting too drunk, etc.
It’s important to note that there are many other popular travel destinations with similar travel warnings to states in Mexico. Destinations with State Department level 2 or 3 travel warnings include:
• hong kong
• united kingdom
• Trinidad and Tobago
• Turks and Caicos
However, most of these destinations stay out of the headlines when it comes to security.
“I try to be aware of what’s going on in the world and how it affects my customer journey,” Smith said. “In the case of Matamoros, you do [your clients] Know where to go. Nowadays, it is part of our job to make our customers feel comfortable while traveling.
“I absolutely warn my clients about security to any destination, and I don’t send them to places I wouldn’t personally travel to myself. I have discussions about security between traveling to Los Cabos and traveling to border towns. Cartel influence. Of course, there are a lot of places I don’t send clients to in the U.S.,” Walters said. .