It’s a question travel agents get all the time. Those of us in the travel media get it as well.
While the questions usually come from a place of curiosity and naiveté, the culture that engenders those questions is one of pervasive ignorance. It’s a culture that looks at anything other than the norm as potentially dangerous—simply because it might be outside of one’s comfort zone. It’s a mindset that will believe anything negative about what is unknown simply because it fosters the ability to continue to close oneself off from something that may be new.
This is, perhaps, the single most dangerous mindset to travel. So, tourist destinations, suppliers and various industry stakeholders battle it every single day.
Stats rarely matter, and that’s a shame, but it’s how powerful fear can be, even in the face of facts.
For many, one negative news report even partially overheard about any destination will instantaneously overshadow any fact-based evidence about the relative safety of traveling there.
Here in the U.S., Mexico remains a very popular tourist destination but is under near-constant attack from innumerable sources—in both politics and media. These are from people who run the gamut from wanting you to believe Mexico and its people are inherently dangerous to those who simply know they can get your attention and sell advertising revenue with yet another negative story adding to the cacophony of fear you are bombarded with day in, day out.
travAlliancemedia exists to support the travel trade and travel industry, and so we will say clearly, proudly and with every fact-based tool at our disposal: Traveling to Mexico is safe.
That’s also why I’m happy to tell people I just returned from Riviera Maya, and that I’m excited to go back to Cancun in a few weeks—along with most of my co-workers. None of us are fretting about the safety conditions, because we know exactly how safe Mexico really is. We are, however, excited for a fantastic time, which is what the vast majority of people of travelers to Mexico experience.
On July 17, Donald Wood wrote an article titled, “Mexico’s Top Tourism Destinations Deemed Safe.” This was based on a statement by the Mexico Tourism Board and an updated travel advisory by the U.S. Department of State which continued to state (as emphatically as bureaucratic legalese can) that Mexican tourist destinations are safe.
Both the statement by MTB and the report from TravelPulse are verifiably true. No matter what you read on the internet, or see on TV or hear from your well-intentioned relative, all of Mexico’s major international tourist destinations are safe.
This wasn’t some drastic shift in U.S. policy, nor was it some incredible change in Mexico itself. It was a reminder that—no matter the rhetoric or the constant stoking of the flames of fear—you and your clients can travel to Mexico and it is safe.
We have no problem repeating that truth for everyone to hear.
Since that report, numerous travel agents and suppliers have reached out to TravelPulse and shared the article on social media to thank us for continuing to support the truth about Mexican tourism.
However, some in the media continue to demand confusion-based clicks and muddy the waters beyond what is the truth: Traveling to Mexico is fun, enjoyable, extremely affordable for American tourists and, most of all, safe.
It’s why I’ve repeated the word “safe” so many times in this column. Maybe, one day, we’ll get through to the people who prefer you be afraid rather than have a life-changing travel experience. Until then, we’ll continue to report that important truth about Mexico and other amazing destinations.