Peter Greenberg, a highly regarded authority in the international travel industry, posted an article titled Is it Safe to Travel to Mexico Now? on his blog a few weeks ago in which he and Robert Reid, U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet, discussed the current state of Mexico in regards to safety and tourism.
Both Greenberg and Reid travel to Mexico frequently and their conversation offers some great insight into the matter (you should definitely read the entire article), but I just want to point out some of the stand-out quotes I came across.
- Robert Reid: “You need to consider that Mexico is about the size of Western Europe. There’s an area that’s bigger than Britain and Ireland that is not on the travel warnings.”
- Robert Reid: “The Washington Post had an article last year that the homicide rate in our nation’s capital is four times greater than Mexico City.”
- Peter Greenberg: “Look at Cozumel. It is probably the most popular cruise ship port in the world. And yet anytime somebody hiccups the cruise ships say we’re pulling out of Mazatlan or we’re pulling out of Cozumel. Guess what happens a week later? They’re back. It’s so fickle and capricious. It’s not based on real facts. It’s based on fear.”
- Robert Reid: “During the swine flu crisis a couple of years ago, some cruise ships stopped going to places like Puerto Vallarta, where there were no reported cases of the swine flu. Instead, the ships went to places like San Francisco where there were reported cases of swine flu. It is worth listening closely to reports.”
- Peter Greenberg: “I’ll call a spade a spade here, Mexico has been seen in an almost racist way by Americans for so many years. They imagine dusty border towns, guys wearing sombreros and doing shoot ‘em ups. They see it how it was portrayed in the movies. If you couple that perception with the drug cartels or with the swine flu or with select crime reports, suddenly everybody starts running for the border.”
- Robert Reid: “I’m in this business because of Mexico. I think it is an asset to be close to such a diverse, wonderful and friendly country. I’m sad that more people don’t take advantage of it.”
- Peter Greenberg: “Isn’t it ironic that we’re talking about crime and murder in Mexico and I’ve spent so much of the year enjoying the ocean, the beaches and the beautiful sunsets in Mexico?”