11 May 2011

Robert Reid’s recent article for CNN Travel discusses Mexican tourism’s big PR problem – what we all know, the escalating drug war and gory media reports of violence.  He notes the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory’s recent expansion to 14 of Mexico’s 31 states doesn’t help matters either.  Yet, says Reid,

It’s in the 17 of 31 states not named in the newly expanded warnings that you’ll find the most rewarding destinations: the Yucatan Peninsula and Baja California beach resorts, colonial hill towns like the ex-pat haven of San Miguel de Allende, even the capital Mexico City.

Reid says, “We tend to lump all of Mexico – a country the size of Western Europe – together,” citing how a border incident involving the death of a Colorado tourist  in 2010 prompted the Texas Department of Homeland Security to issue a travel warning for all of Mexico.  The fact of the matter is that most of central and southern Mexico sees less violence than many U.S. cities, and residents remain miffed at the public’s fear of their quiet communities.

Offering “jungles, deserts, volcanoes, beaches, coral reefs, ancient pyramids, living pre-European cultures and some of the world’s most satisfying cuisines,” not to mention proximity and value, Mexico remains a great travel destination with a very bad PR problem.

Reid is a Lonely Planet U.S. Travel Editor and host of the 76-Second Travel Show.  You can read his full article at CNN Travel here.