Traveling to Mexico is NOT a Bad Thing!
Tammy & I love to travel to Baja California, Mexico. In the recent past the press has given Mexico a bum rap. Especially Baja, California and the wonderful towns and cities you can certainly visit safely.
As it is currently written, the Travel Warning’s broadness is equivalent to warning travelers not to travel to Miami because of the crime rate in New Orleans.
Mexico is comprised of warm people, a fascinating history, a hospitable culture, amazing beauty, and numerous friendly and SAFE vacation destinations. Most of which are safer than major U.S. cities!
English is spoken fluently in all of Mexico’s major tourist locations. The resorts in Mexico are some of the most magnificent in the entire world. A visitor can choose from a cultural experience or a fully Americanized mega resort. Options include all-inclusive and non-all-inclusive resorts, hotels and boutique properties.
The climate in Mexico is a big attraction for Americans. The major tourist locations are along the coast and are warm year-round. Inland communities at higher elevations such as Guadalajara (5200 ft. above sea level) and in particular close-by Lake Chapala, are much dryer and more temperate. Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico), with its much higher elevation of 7545.93 ft. (2300 sq. meters) above sea level, can reach freezing temperatures in the winter.
Yes safety! Mexico is a friendly ally to the U.S. Mexico is one of the SAFEST country’s an American can visit! In fact, Mexico is safer than many U.S. cities and the tourist areas within Mexico are safer than most major U.S. cities. US-Mexico Tourism Alliance cautions Americans to beware of U.S. media stories when they sensationalize and “spin” crime stories regarding Mexico. Most mature, well-traveled Americans will be the first to point out that the U.S. media is the least accurate and most bias in the world. We all remember when the U.S. media wrongly blamed Mexico for the Swine Flu (H1N1), as just one example. And did you know that most U.S. citizens killed in Mexico were involved in illicit activities? It would nice to be able to say that about visitors killed within the U.S., but we cannot. The inaccuracies go on and on. Instead, look at the crime facts regarding Mexico.
Take a look!
Read this important article written by Juan Tintos as follows:
Trying to bring back Baja's tourists January 6, 2012 by:
Juan Tintos, Secretary of tourism, Baja California
Professional career: Assistant director of Tijuana Cultural Center in the 1980s; secretary of tourism from 1992 to 2001; CEO of a Baja California-based travel and hotel corporation. Returned to tourism secretary post in September of 2010.
Information you should know:
Baja tourism by the numbers
361: Cruise ship arrivals in 2008
169: Cruise ship arrivals in 2011
25.1 million: International visitors to Baja in 2008
24.2 million: International visitors to Baja in 2009
24.8 million: International visitors to Baja in 2010
Source: Port captain's office in Ensenada, Banco de Mexico
When Juan Tintos returned in 2010 to his old post as Baja California’s tourism secretary following a nine-year hiatus, he faced a daunting challenge: reviving the state’s ailing tourism industry, stricken by persistent fears related to drug wars and crime.
Today, Tintos is bullish about Baja California’s prospects for much more robust tourism, fueled in part by growth in spending among tourists living in Mexico, as well as Hispanics north of the border.
Although tourism spending and visitors have dropped considerably from early in the last decade, those numbers are starting to climb back from the depths of 2009, Tintos hastens to point out.
For starters, his office sought out a public relations agency to help the state channel the mindset of American tourists. In addition, an “image committee” of expatriates was convened to zero in on redefining the public’s perception of Baja.
In San Diego recently, Tintos spoke about his strategy for energizing tourism on a number of fronts that he hopes will convince Americans once again that Baja California is a compelling place to visit.
Q: In the wake of a difficult decade for tourism in Baja California, what specific initiatives have you taken to induce more people to cross the border for getaways and vacations?
A: We did a perception survey last March in eight Southern California destinations. They had heard about good things happening but still had some reservations about coming. There’s still a need to provide accurate information (and clear up) misinformation. This is my 18th trip to California, Arizona and Nevada. Besides the Anglo and growing Hispanic market, we’re focusing on our domestic market. Before this whole situation, I would say tourism expenditures in Baja were about two-thirds Americans or foreigners. That fell to one-third at its worst. So now we’re at 60 percent from the national market (within Mexico), but we’re not out of the woods yet.
Q: Rather rely strictly on the tourist traffic of the past — Americans heading to Baja California beaches — what new niches are you exploring to boost tourism revenue?
A: You have the largest concentration of maquiladora plants, and that generates business tourists who come and stay two, three nights. We’ve also grown in medical tourism. We have 450,000 people, mostly from California, mostly Hispanics, who come to Baja for dentistry, eye care, cosmetic surgery, and that generate $86 million a year. We have a calendar of over 300 events, and more than half are sports like the Rosarito-to-Ensenada bike ride.
Q: How important has the region’s culinary boom and maturing of its wine region, Valle de Guadalupe, been in boosting visits from San Diegans?
A: This year we doubled the number of events in the wine region. We’ve had 4,000 to 6,000 people at concerts. Instead of the Bullring by the Sea, people prefer to be in that area surrounding by beautiful scenery. Another thing that has helped is the famous Baja Med cuisine. We just had the Baja culinary festival in October where we had 29 events in five days and chefs from the U.S., Europe and South America. And the federal government is going to launch 10 tourist routes, and the wine region will be one of them.
Q: San Diego’s cruise ship industry has suffered a huge setback as more and more ships have pulled out of Southern California that were formerly going to the Mexican Riviera. The lines said they did so because of the crime issue and lack of diversity of ports. What is Baja California doing to entice the cruise lines to return?
A: Yes, the verdict was that the Mexican Riviera was tired and needed to be rejuvenated. We did a study that told us you have to have more attractions and better presentation of your destination, train your taxi drivers, and look for more genuine arts and crafts. We eliminated the tugboat fee (that was assessed) whether you used it or not. We’re putting in a new sewer treatment plant at La Bufadora. We’ve got the Chamber of Commerce and association of merchants to make sure that only authentic merchandise is sold. We don’t want tourists to go back unsatisfied. We used to have 325 cruise ship arrivals a year. We reduced half of that, and we’re working slowly on increasing that. There’s an expression in Mexico: You don’t know what you’ve had until you lose it.”