In an online article published late last week,CNN reported on the continued rise of tourism in Mexico,despite recent travel warnings and bad press associated with the drug violence along its northern borders. The article was prompted in part by social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter,which have been flooded with updates about spring break and family vacation plans centered around travel to Mexico,which bolsters the country’s expectations for a good year in terms of tourism.
In fact,despite some public relations concerns,for more than two decades Mexico has remained the top foreign vacation destination for US travelers. In 1990 more than 16 million US residents visited Mexico,and that number hit an impressive 20 million in 2010,according to the most recent data from the US Department of Commerce’s Office of Travel and Tourism.
“When you hear about swine flu and the drug war and see grisly photos and stories that go along with them,people look at the country on a whole through that light,” Lonely Planet writer Richard Reid told CNN. “That’s not an accurate representation of the entire country.”
In 2012 the Mexico Tourism Board is expecting at least 52 million visitors to head down to the southeastern part of the country,including a growing number of visitors from emerging markets like Brazil,Russia and China. This includes travel to resort areas like Cancun,Cozumel and Playa del Carmen,thanks in part to the many Mayan archeological sites in this region.
“While there are security concerns in certain areas of the country,particularly in the north,travel to traditional tourist destinations along the Mayan Riviera remain safe,” stated Miguel Salazar of the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington.