Last week the U.S. State Department updated its travel report for Mexico,highlighting the overwhelmingly positive findings,while also covering a few guidelines and warnings about traveling in certain remote areas of the country.
“The State Department gave the all clear to some of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations,including Quintana Roo,where Cancun,Cozumel,and Playa del Carmen are located,” writes Yahoo! Travel.
The extensive new report looked closely at all of Mexico’s 31 states and its Federal District,which encompasses Mexico City,and this year the shorter list of warnings only encourage Americans to defer “nonessential travel” to eight states – which is down from 14 last year. As in prior years,the hot spots are all located along the U.S.-Mexico border where the drug markets are battling to push their products through security.
“Mexico is a safe place,” stated Matt Hager,senior intelligence manager for international risk management company iJET,in an interview with Yahoo! Travel. “[It’s] a large country. You really can’t look at Mexico with a single broad brush.”
It’s also important to point out that the existing drug cartels don’t really have an interest in targeting tourists,unless they are also involved in the drug trade. As with anywhere else in the world,it’s smart to exercise caution – especially in unfamiliar,crowded areas at night. Also,take the time before your trip to familiarize yourself with the area(s) you will be visiting and research which cities,neighborhoods – even streets – are safest. According to CNN,the most popular destinations are Cancun,the Riviera Maya,Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.
“The tourist areas are relatively safe,” Hager shares. “Getting caught in the crossfire of a drug war isn’t generally something American tourists need to worry about in Mexico.”
Still not convinced? Consider this: Travel in Mexico is Safer Than Many U.S. Cities! Yes – you read that correctly – the reality of the situation is that millions of U.S. citizens visit Mexico safely each year,which amounts to an average of more than 150,000 every day. Add to this the fact that the assault rate in the U.S. is actually five times higher than that of Mexico,and the picture starts to become a little clearer.
Other ways to safe no matter where you are traveling include reading any State Department advisories,remaining alert while traveling and keeping a low profile out in public.
“Think about the perception or the image that you project,” states Hager. “If you’re projecting an image of affluence and conspicuous wealth,you are projecting an image of being an attractive target.”
The bottom line? Common sense goes a long way – no matter which corner of the world you may find yourself in!