Mexico Tourism Thrives in Spite of Violent Crime
CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico - Widespread violent crime in Mexico has prompted the U.S. State Department to warn travelers to avoid some parts of the country, including the popular tourist destinations of Acapulco and Mazatlan. Much of the violence involves drug trafficking gangs, but victims sometimes include foreign visitors. Still, tourism remains one of Mexico's biggest industries.
At the recent G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico's tourism secretary, Gloria Guevara, hailed world leaders for recognizing tourism's role in promoting economic development.
“One of every 12 jobs in the world are related to travel and tourism,” Guevara said.
But Mexico's image as a tourist destination has suffered from a crime wave that has prompted its top two visitor nations, the United States and Canada, to issue travel warnings.
In spite of the trouble, Mexico set a record last year, with more than 22 million international visitors.
Mexico is a big country and while some areas are like war zones, tourist destinations tend to be as safe or safer than the cities where many tourists live.
Retired businessman Bob Gebo and his wife Christine came to Cabo San Lucas from California 11 years ago on a fishing boat and decided to call it home.
“I think it is the safest place I have ever been,” Gebo said.