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We Love Mexico!

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By: Tom Brussow

Owner, Sunsational Beach Vacations

YES! We do indeed love Mexico and there are a million reasons why...the beaches and turquoise ocean, the amazing all-inclusive resorts, the excursions, tours, the food, the Don Julio, golf, the Mexican culture and history and the warm hospitality of the Mexican people just to name a few. 

Then, there is the VERY long list of amazing people we have come to know in Mexico and consider cherished friends and colleagues.

Lately though, it is not easy to miss all of the media coverage related to travel to Mexico including the updated travel warning that has been issued.  Overall however, this is not really all that new as stories related to this have been in the news for many years now.  

It seems like the media just loves bad stories about our neighbors to the south as they seem to generate high levels of consumer interest, lots of web page clicks, and often serve to portray tourism to Mexico and the Mexican people in an unfairly negative light. I'm not saying these stories all fall under the category of "fake news" but they surely seem to be overly sensationalized, generalized and one-sided.

The recent U.S. State Department Travel warnings pertain specifically to isolated incidents of violence taking place in locations not frequented by international tourists. Incidents of this are extremely rare in popular tourist areas and even more so within the resort complexes. The Mexican government and Mexican tourism board have long-standing practices in place to prevent any disruption in tourist areas. They also support strict guidelines and a strong commitment to the highest standards of excellence within their hospitality industry.

So, should you be concerned about going on vacation to Mexico?

Read all the various reviews and stories and chances are you'll find something that reinforces your fears or concerns. There are certainly documented cases of crime as this occurs in every city. There are also anecdotal stories or accusations where all the facts aren't really known or where things are unproven.  

I consider all of the available information but the best advise I can give clients is to first draw upon their own and other "real life" personal experiences of friends, neighbors and a professional travel consultant vs. what they see in their news feeds. 

For example, here is a recap of my own personal experience: 

- Over 50 visits to Mexico in the last 15 years with two more trips planned for this fall

- More than 5,000 clients booked for travel to Mexico over the past 7 years

- More than 70 Destination Wedding and other groups traveled to Mexico over the past seven years

With all of this exposure, take a guess as to how many times I have personally felt unsafe in any way or received reports back from our clients expressing any concerns about their safety? The answer...ZERO!

And for me, I have been to destinations all over the country at resorts big and small, on many tours and excursions to remote areas, countless cab rides and bus rides, local bars and night clubs, and even late night street tacos in various Mexican neighborhoods.

So very much to the contrary, my experience and my firm belief is that the people of Mexico are without a doubt among the friendliest, most gracious, hard working, honest, and amazing people I have had the pleasure to meet. 

Above all, they are focused on providing the best possible service and experience for their guests fully realizing that tourism is the lifeblood of their economy. They frequently express their gratitude for American tourists who they feel are responsible for the highly valued job that allows them to provide for and help ensure their families can have a better life. My friend and highly accomplished Mexican business owner, Senor Jose Luis Martinez is so passionate about this that he has brought me to tears on more than one occasion listening to him speak about how the people of his country have been so positively impacted by American tourism. 

THESE are the kind of people you are bound to encounter in your trip to Mexico. Is it ever their aim or in their best interest to harm you in any way? Absolutely not!

Are there bad elements in Mexico? Of course there are! There are people with bad intentions in every city or town including the one you live in every day. Consider that according to recent crime and safety statistics, major tourist locations in Cancun, Riviera Maya, and others throughout Mexico rank far better than a significant number of major U.S cities. So the argument could be made that comparatively you are much safer in your gated and guarded all-inclusive resort complex sipping a Pina Colada on a chaise lounger than you are at home!

 Other Important Statistics to Consider: 

 Mexico hosts more than 35 million international visitors a year 

 In 2016, 94% of U.S. visitors reported an experience that exceeded their expectations and 86% said they would like to come back again in the next six months 

 So far in 2017 (January – July), Mexico’s visitors from the U.S. have increased by 9.6% (6.2 million visitors), in comparison to the same period in 2016 

 Overall, international visitors to Mexico have increased by more than 9% in 2017

With all that said, it is normal and understandable to ask questions and seek out more and better information as you consider your vacations plans. As professional travel agents, we field a variety of questions and we are here to help you to plan and purchase a safe, fun, and memorable vacation. In accomplishing that, we consider a number of factors in our recommendations...quality, value, price, experience, service, and yes safety. With all that in mind, we have no hesitation in recommending one of the many beautiful and amazing destinations that Mexico has to offer.

When travelling to Mexico, you should take the normal precautions as you would travelling anywhere else in the world. Be wary of the people and conditions around you. Travel together with others especially late at night or in unpopulated areas. Also, there is a safe in every room for your valuables...use it!

A vital part of staying safe is keeping your wits about you, so be cautious about over indulging in alcohol, and avoid recreational drugs, which, despite what you may have heard, are illegal in Mexico. Take into account the intensity of the sun, the heat, and your physical need for the proper sleep and nutrition. 

In addition, we always recommend the purchase of trip insurance.

With this and all the measures taken by the resorts, the local community and the great people of Mexico, you should expect to have a wonderful vacation as we planned!


Want some additional information? Here are some helpful links:

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/mexico-travel-warning.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/29/travel/mexico-cancun-safety.html

http://www.frommers.com/destinations/mexico/planning-a-trip/staying-safe


Finally, in the aftermath of the Mexico City earthquake, right now the people of Mexico need our help. Learn more about what you can do:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/mexico-earthquake-how-help-victims-recovery-efforts-n803436

Thanks!









 





           

 

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