On April 22nd, the US State Department updated its travel warning for Mexico, expanding it to include five new states: Jalisco, Nayarit, San Luis Potosi, Sonora, and Zacatecas. Although the Travel Warning clearly states: “There is no evidence that U.S. tourists have been targeted by criminal elements due to their citizenship,” the increase of the warning clearly implies that danger in Mexico is increasing. A closer look at indicators from outside the US State Department, however, seem to suggest otherwise – specifically foreign investment.
Mexico’s Minister of Tourism, Gloria Guevara, is confident that Mexico’s tourism sector will receive approximately $3.5 billion over the next three years from foreign investment (believed to be from Spanish, German and Asian companies, specifically). Guevara has stated that “there exists a committed investment of $2.5 billion” and that another $1 billion “will be arriving at the proper time.” Several long time investors are already in motion on fresh projects, and they’re American.
Travel Weekly recently published an article detailing plans for two new W Hotels to be completed (one in Mexico City and one on the Riviera Maya) by 2014. This new W in Mexico City will actually be the capital city’s second W Hotel, both managed by the American company Starwood Hotels & Resorts. During construction of the new 132-room W, Starwood will also be dishing out a top-to-bottom, multimillion-dollar renovation to the already existing W.
The Riviera Maya W is said to be a 180-room W Retreat & Spa Kanai. The Retreat & Spa will actually be the centerpiece of an even larger project, the Kanai Resort development, which will include four hotels and a beach club.
Apple Leisure Group, based in Pennsylvania, USA, and owners of AMResorts, are nearing completion on two large scale, all inclusive projects, Secrets Litibu and Dreams Litibu, both located in Punta Mita, Nayarit – one of the states added to the newest travel warning.
Personal investments are being made by tens of thousands of American and Canadian families who have chosen to retire in Puerto Vallarta, which was recently chosen by the AARP as the number one place to retire abroad in the world. Puerto Vallarta is located in the state of Jalisco, another state recently added to the US State Department’s new travel warning.
So is danger in Mexico really increasing as the travel warning suggests? Foreign investments, both corporate and consumer, suggest no. And you know what they say: “Always follow the money.”