Mexico on defensive as bookings drop after U.S. warning

Mexico on defensive as bookings drop after U.S. warning: Travel WeeklyMexico's tourism industry went into damage control mode this week as tour operators reported that bookings to the country were taking a hit following the State Department's recent travel warning that cited increased homicide rates in the resort states of Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo. "I truly believe that the travel advice, that the travel recommendation, is very clear and they are not recommending not to go, they are just recommending to use your common sense," he added.Sumano pointed out that Mexico had a 12.6% increase in U.S. visitors in July 2017 compared with July 2016, and an 11.8% increase, or 6.7 million additional U.S. visitors, from January through July 2017 compared with the same period the year before. "With all destinations, we advise our travelers to be aware of their surroundings and be cautious in certain situations, but we feel that the destination overall is much safer than the warning paints."Alex Zozaya, president and CEO of Apple Leisure Group, said that in the week following the new travel warning, overall bookings to Mexico were down while Cancun bookings fell 20%. Zozaya believes that two high-profile incidents led to the new travel warning:  an organized crime-related shooting on a public beach in Los Cabos in August in which three people were killed, and a shootout at a club in Playa del Carmen in January leaving five people dead. But [when he calls] Mexico 'one of the most dangerous countries in the world' -- that's the message that really hurts, that's the message that is increasing the concerns or the anxiety, that's not helping at all," Zozaya said.President Trump tweeted on Aug. 27, "With Mexico being one of the highest crime Nations in the world, we must have THE WALL."Zozaya added that while he doesn't feel the State Department's travel warning was entirely politically motivated, he does think it is being blown out of proportion.

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