How About Mexican Cruises?
Finally, someone who will tell it like it is. Mexico’s violence, although problematic for the country as a whole, is not a war-torn country, nor one that is suffering from non-stop violence. The jobs of journalists should be to report their findings in an objective manner. However, it seems that with some major-media corporations, objectiveness is far too often pushed aside and replaced with personal opinions and, possibly, agendas. According to many of the articles and news reports I have seen, this just may be the case with the media both north and south of the border being equally guilty.
Very few people hear that facts (mostly because they don’t get reported and because of it) even less people are able to separate fact from the reported news. It seems that only those who are deeply interested or invested in the subject of Mexico’s drug-related violence are the ones that are able to produce hard facts and back up their findings. Some of these people include respected researchers from the University of San Diego and Vanderbilt University. Not just people who have merely read, seen or heard something in the news, or on the streets, only to later post it on the internet.
So the question remains, what is being said and not heard and are what are some the hearty facts that we can we really say to perspective travelers? First, Mexico (like the United States) is a country made up of many different states, each one having its own characteristics, cultures, and people.
Some Facts that many, if not most people are unaware of?
‘The state with the lowest murder rate is Yucatán, the Gulf of Mexico state known for its beaches and Mayan ruins. Its murder rate of 2 per 100,000 was comparable to Wyoming and Montana. ‘Now there’s some food for thought. Haven’t heard any reports of tourist bulletins on “Big Sky Country lately”. Just maybe there is some sensationalism going on here. Huh? (check out the map which identifies the violence prone areas. Red is Bad, and Green is Good).
Next door to the state of Yucatan is the state of Quintana Roo, the state famous for all-inclusive resorts, the island of Cozumel and so much more. It is a state equally as safe as Yucatan. These are the places that the Cruise Ships visit, as well as families and couples flock to whenever they can get a few days away from the salt-mine grind back home routine!
‘The horrific violence that is jacking up the national death toll is largely confined to nine of Mexico’s thirty one states’. A fact that most news articles or news spots fail to mention altogether.
Also important to note; is that All of these states either border the United States (now there’s a surprise) or are situated in the extreme western region of the country. None of these states include the Yucatan Peninsula, a region that is roughly the size of Oklahoma.
“There exists a distinct disconnect between the statistics and the public’s perception.”
This statement in itself may be an indication that all of us should start using our critical thinking skills and always ask for facts before jumping to conclusions. It is also important to remember that those who are being targeted by the violence are those that have ties to the drug trade or unfortunately got caught in the crossfire in a region that they happened into the wrong place at the wrong time. A situation that could also very easily present itself near where I live (like say) in downtown Phoenix Arizona. While we don’t hear or read about travelers advisories, there are places you won’t catch me out in at nighttime. A simple but unfortunate fact that I am sure exists in almost all major cities and very likely within close proximity to most everyone who happens to read this article. Sad, but I suspect true.
Without rattling off a bunch of statistics, I have been living in greater Phoenix metropolitan area for nearly 10 years and I am connected in a large way to the Travel Industry, and see that this scare frenzy the media has promulgated on the American readers is not being accurately portrayed and I finally feel the need to speak up.
I moved from the East coast to within four hours of the Mexican border, and as many know Arizona has been quite the hot bed of negative sentiment towards Mexicans, and most all things south of the border of late. I have gone to Mexico and will continue to go to Mexico. I feel Mexico is just as safe now as it was then, yet everyone on the Northern side of the border seems to be in an uproar about whether vacationing in Mexico is safe or not.
While browsing several social media boards and venues lately, I couldn’t help but notice the preponderance that one question was asked (in one form or another) which was “Is it safe to travel to Mexico? I keep hearing terrible things on the news.” While plenty of horrendous things occur here in our own country that manage to get onto our news. Interestingly enough, they don’t include them on the news in Cancun and officials don’t discourage Mexicans from visiting the United States.(Except for warnings about getting “profiled” if you travel to Arizona). However, when something happens in Mexico it seems to go viral and travelers are warned, and in some cases just assume, that all travel to Mexico is dangerous. Would you consider denying your family a visit to Disney World in Orlando, simply because there is danger and violence in certain parts of South Miami? Of course you wouldn’t.
To help put this issue into proper perspective, I would like to offer an opinion that was recently expressed from a very well-respected Cancun resident and fellow blogger Kelly McLaughlin (Cancun Canuck) who is a transplant from Canada.
“So, is Cancun safe for tourists? Yes. Crime happens here, sure, pick pockets, thefts from hotel rooms, etc., etc., but violent crime against tourists, no. The type of crime that happens here occurs in every city around the world, tourist attraction or not. Use your common sense and street smarts and you’ll be fine. I would venture to say that Cancun is safer than most big cities around the world. I don’t feel any different here than I did in Toronto or New York or Los Angeles. In fact, I probably feel safer. I am far from naive, I read the local and national Mexican papers daily so I know exactly what is going on, but it does not fill me with fear. I don’t associate with the bad guys, nor do I try to impede what they are doing, I don’t have any money nor do I involve myself with dangerous activities. I live my life the same way I did in Toronto, eyes open, head up and aware of my surroundings. If I felt that tourists were in any way in danger, I would shout it from the rooftops. I have no interest in lying about this, people’s safety is of far greater concern to me than the economy of the city of Cancun. If I felt that Cancun was THAT dangerous, I certainly wouldn’t continue to live here with my small child.”
We should all try to analyze what we read in the paper and see on the news, not just take it all in as absolute truth. Cancun, the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and most of the other popular vacation destinations in Mexico are safe for tourists. Maybe even safer there, than you are in your hometown. I truly hope that this has helped to put some perspective on the issues. Hope to see you on the white sand beach in Cancun soon!
One Mexican City that has become a travel media frenzie of late is Mazatlan. This city has been the recent focus of departure by most all of the major cruise lines which cruise the Mexican Riviera. But is this city’s violence really tourist related, or like Miami Florida is prone to drug and gang related violence. Be sure to see my Mexican Travel Facts update (see post here) which also includes a video by some local residents who are speaking out, about the media coverage and their city. Another resource to view has some facts about Drug Related Violence and its impact on Mexican Travel here is the link http://wp.me/p1foVW-JN
For more information on Cruising and Travel to Mexico, contact Mike via email firstname.lastname@example.org . You can tweet (or follow) Mike at http://www.twitter.com/cruisewithmike . To “Join” our Travel Club go to http://meetup.com/Sun-Cities-Travelers-Group/ Mikes web site can be found at www.mberryhill.cruiseholidays.com . Follow Mike’s blog (or subscribe to it) at http://www.cruisewithmike.com (or merely click on the subscribe button above to have daily delivery to your email). View all of Mikes uploaded Flickr Photo Galleries at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cruisewithmike/ . Mike also edits his own twice daily e-newspaper called “The Compass Headings” you can see (or subscribe to) it free! at http://paper.li/CruisewithMike
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