Royal Resorts understands that some members may still have concerns about traveling to Mexico in the light of news reports about security and the Mexican government’s fight against organized crime. We would like to stress that in the case of Cancun, the Riviera Maya, other parts of the Mexican Caribbean, Yucatan, southeast and central Mexico, these fears are unfounded. The Mexico Tourism Board statistics for 2011 and for the first quarter of 2012 show that millions of visitors agree and that the country is more popular than ever.
Mexico is a huge country with a territory of 758,774 square miles, slightly less than three times the size of Texas and a population of 112, 468,855 (July 2010 estimate). Most of the incidents associated with drug cartels (referred to as Transnational Criminal Organizations by the US State Department), that are being reported by the international media take place in the north of the country – often in sparsely populated and inaccessible mountainous regions, the desert or in districts in large cities along the Mexico-US border, thousands of miles from Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Many of these areas rarely see tourists.
The violence reported by the international press is largely attributed to the members of rival drug cartels that are engaged in turf wars for control of smuggling routes. The Mexican Government has been at pains to point out that the majority of the casualties arising from drug-related violence are the product of these disputes. The general public has not been targeted and there have been no incidents involving international tourists.
The drug trade is a global problem and Mexico is playing a leading role in combating the cartels. Cancun recently hosted two important conferences on maritime security and the fight against organized crime in the western hemisphere. Representatives from countries throughout the Americas and the Caribbean discussed ways to strengthen regional cooperation on a number of fronts, from increased naval patrols to money laundering.
The safety of visitors wherever they are in the country is a priority for the Mexican government and the authorities are extremely vigilant in all tourist destinations and major cities. Cancun, the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan Peninsula have always been, and remain, some of the safest places in the world for visitors. Security has been upgraded in recent years, as it has in other international travel spots, and tourist areas are well policed. In April, the Cancun Municipal Government pledged to further expand policing in the central area of Downtown Cancun and similar measures have been taken in Playa del Carmen.
Media coverage should be put into perspective as reports are often vague and fail to give an idea of the distances involved and the location of trouble spots in relation to resort areas. News of an incident occurring in the north of the country, thousands of miles from Cancun or Playa del Carmen, should not affect travel plans to the Mexican Caribbean.
Royal Resorts looks forward to welcoming members home and hope that they will join us in 2012 and for many years to come.
There is a Safety in Mexico section on the Royal Resorts News blog at http://www.royalresortsnews.com/category/safety-in-mexico/ It features a map, a distance table, travel tips and useful links and is updated during the year.