Mexico, the place you thought you knew.
With Spring Break looming, the Texas Department of Public Safety recently released a warning to their citizens NOT go to Mexico over spring break. Noble as the intentions may have been, it is just one of the many warnings that have come out about traveling to Mexico. If you watch the news, the only thing happening in Mexico is death, however as someone who frequents Mexico for business and leisure, there is a much different story to be told.
Admittedly, I am not traveling to Ciudad Juarez or many of the border towns, and probably wouldn’t recommend it, but I can say that I feel safer in Mexico City at night than in Oakland. On my last trip to Mexico City, when I stayed in the city center, not only did it feel secure, but to some extent, there was too much of a U.S. city feeling for my taste. With 100 Starbucks, and the presence of iPads at about 50 percent of the meetings, there are times when you wouldn’t know the difference. While that may be a stretch, with access to anything any major city has to offer, from coffee shops to top French culinary options, by taking the standard precautions necessary for any tourist or business destination, there is no need to avoid Mexico.
On March 10, 2011, the Mexico Tourism Board issued a statement regarding the Texas travel advisory. To give a little perspective, last year more than 22 million foreigners visited Mexico with 2.5 of those being air travelers from Texas. There are certainly dangerous places in Mexico, however the majority of the violence is happening in only 3 of Mexico´s 32 states, and none of them include Mexico City, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta or other major tourism destinations. From the Mexico Tourism Board’s ad campaigns, one can find safe, under-explored travel destinations with resources such as Visit Mexico, which will give up-to-date information about the safest destinations and any necessary precautions.
After all, if we planned our vacations and business trips according to the news, we probably would never travel anywhere, or for that matter live where we live. Safe travels!