Mexico president says drug war not hurting tourism

May 20, 2011 4:11:58 AM PDT
Mexican President Felipe Calderon says drug violence in Mexico isn't hurting international tourism or the country's plans to grow the industry. Calderon told a group of travel industry executives in Las Vegas Thursday that international tourism was up 6 percent last year in Mexico, with 10 percent more American tourists visiting.

Calderon says with 23 million international visitors last year and 6 million on cruise ships, there were "almost zero" incidents of tourists encountering crime related to drug cartels.

Violence has been a consistent problem in Mexico, with frequent reports of killings and kidnappings related to the drug war.

Calderon says there are no problems in tourist areas.

According the World Travel & Tourism Council, international visitors spent $15 billion in Mexico in 2010, up from $12.3 billion in 2009.