A deadly shooting took place last weekend outside of what’s considered the “tourist zone” in Playa del Carmen. It has some travelers worried. But local travel agents still advise clients that the resort city is safe to visit.
Lyndsie Rudi of St. Paul just got engaged in Playa del Carmen, and she and her fiance never felt in danger.
“I felt very safe,” she said.
But with headlines like the one Monday about seven people killed in the resort city, Lyndsie finds herself defending her favorite vacation spot.
“I’ve heard it a lot,” she said.
“Mexico is as safe as any of the major cities they would visit in the United States,” said travel agent Maureen McKamey with A1 Travel.
McKamey hears from concerned travelers after reports of violence in Mexico.
“Then that’s when I get the worried emails. I got one this morning from a client saying should I be concerned about this? And I just try to give them the facts,” McKamey said.
Seven people were killed in the popular Mexican resort city. But the victims weren’t tourists. And the shooting happened far from a resort.
“Even accidentally it would be very hard for a tourist to stumble upon this place,” McKamey said.
But yet McKamey says the perception of danger led to fewer Minnesotans booking trips to Mexico, starting about a year and a half ago.
“I would say it’s recovering,” she said.
Although the violence happens outside the tourist zones, McKamey says she won’t push Mexico on customers who are still apprehensive.
“But I do also let people know that vacations are about having fun. So if they really have concerns about safety and they just think it will ruin their vacation as a result, and they can’t get over it, we’re here to help them find other options,” McKamey said.
Vacationers like Lyndsie will continue to defend it and will travel there again.
“Oh, we plan on it. We plan on it,” she said.
The Mexican state that includes Cancun and Playa del Carmen has seen the number of murders double last year over the previous year. But again, tourists have not been the victims.