Mexico defends safety of travel destinations

June 11, 2011 5:33:13 PM PDT
Mexico is taking a stand when it comes to tourism. It wants Texas to soften its travel warnings that say the entire country is not safe. Those warnings have some re-thinking their travel plans.

We're reaching peak travel season and the peak wedding season when a lot of people want to get to the beach, but news of escalating violence in Mexico has travelers being choosier when it comes to which beaches they'll visit.

When newlywed Erin Copeland was engaged to be married, she planned a dream destination wedding in the Riveria Maya.

"We were looking for a place that was beautiful, also cost effective," she said.

She'd reserved the date, put down a deposit and was looking forward to spending a week with family and friends in Mexico, but her plans changed two months later.

"We saw the article online and my fiance said, 'No way, we're not going,'" Copeland said, "So, we have to find another place."

Raman Mullick with Travel Lifestyles once booked between 2,000 and 3,000 clients to Mexico per year. Now, he says that number has drastically dropped.

"Well, I've had four cancellations this year," Mullick said. "More Europeans are going there than Americans."

Mullick said he's had no complaints about violent crime from clients and he believes Mexican resorts are void of violent crime.

We talked to people who just returned from Mexico, and they said the same.

"Cozumel is pretty safe. I don't think I'd go to Cancun or anyplace else. It's just safe there," said Mark Holcomb, who recently returned from a trip across the border.

Still, Mexico's tourism board is asking Texas to cool it, claiming American travel warnings are killing tourism.

"Travel looked like it was down. Mom and pop places, going out of places," said Jon Clark, who recently traveled to Mexico as well.

Copeland ended up in the Dominican Republic, and she says she'd get married all over again -- in the same place.

"It was just perfect. Perfect," she said. "I loved it." 14:50

Travel agents say when violence peaked in March and the U.S. government put out the travel warning, spring break travel to Mexico plummeted.

Pricewise, of course, you can get pretty good deals to Mexico if you're willing to risk it.

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