According to a May article by Travel Weekly online, tourism and travel remains safe in Mexico's tourist areas, despite some recent confusion stemming from an April travel warning that was issued by the U.S. State Department. The national newspaper spoke to Mexico Secretary of Tourism Gloria Guevara, who cleared up some misconceptions about the safety of Mexico's major tourist destinations.
“More than 60 percent of our visitors go to the known tourist areas, including Cancun, the Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Los Cabos and the Riviera Nayarit,” Guevara stated. “Add Mexico City, Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta and that number jumps to 90 percent. None of these areas have problems and all are safe for our visitors.”
Furthermore, Guevara pointed out that the drug-related violence is not aimed at tourists to begin with, and that out of the 2,500 municipalities in Mexico, only 80 are affected at in any way by drug violence. To stay on top of the location of the cartels, the Mexico Tourism Board works closely with the U.S. Embassy to determine which areas are affected so travel warnings can be targeted and reliable.
The secretary also discussed the safety of Guadalajara, which will play host to the 2011 Pan Am Games this October. “Guadalajara is safe,” she said. “This is the largest multi-sport event of the year, and we are proud to play host.”
In addition, as a way to ensure visitor satisfaction,Guevara pointed out that Mexico uses a variety of surveys each year, and the results for 2010 showed a 98 percent return rate among visitors. “This means that 98 percent of those who had visited Mexico indicated that they would return to Mexico on a future trip,” she said”
The surveys also showed that 99 percent of the more than 10,000 visitors surveyed last year would recommend Mexico to family and friends, an improvement of 2 percent from 2009, while the country's market share of visitors from the U.S. was close to 15 percent. “Those are good indicators of Mexico's popularity in terms of visitor appeal,” Guevara stated. “Our investment figures also show that Mexico ranks high with developers. In the first quarter of 2011, more than $902 million was spent on tourism projects, an increase of 127 percent over the same period last year.”