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Travel Detective Blog: Why I Travel to Mexico

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This has also been fueled by a tremendous amount of misinformation and geographic stupidity.

It has now become an annual ritual for the Texas Department of Public Safety (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) to issue a press release warning Americans not to let their kids go down to Mexico for spring break because their likelihood of being killed is high. Really? No one is going on spring break to Cuidad Juarez. And I’d bet my career that the murder rate among young Americans is higher in Harlingen, Mcallen and Brownsville than it is in Cancun and Cozumel. How irresponsible of the authorities in Texas.

If the Texas authorities were really concerned about public safety, perhaps they might want to address the fact that along the Texas-Mexican border are thousands of gun stores, and they didn’t get there by accident. It is no coincidence that the overwhelming number of guns used by Mexican gangs are sold by these stores, and within three days of the purchase the weapons find themselves across the border in Mexico.

The bottom line here is that Americans are NOT being targeted in this drug war. Travel and Tourism is too big an economic factor — too crucial to the Mexican economy and to millions of Mexican jobs — to allow that to happen. There are two realities here: the multi-billion dollar drug business is not going to evaporate as long as demand — most of it from the United States — remains at record levels. And the second reality — travel and tourism remain robust in Mexico.

Last month, a group of Americans were held up at gunpoint while on a shore excursion near Puerto Vallarta. Reason to turn cruise ships around and abandon these ports? The smart money says no. This was an isolated first-time incident; any large port with thousands of passengers flowing in and out is a target for some street crime. In fact, Carnival is now considering investing $150 million in two new cruise ports on Mexico’s Pacific and Caribbean coasts.