The Mexico Tourism Board has taken to YouTube, Twitter and PR Newswire to counter a Texas Department of Public Safety advisory "urging Spring Breakers to avoid traveling to Mexico because of continued violence..."
"Mexican tourist destinations are very safe," the tourism board says in a press release, citing figures that 22 million foreigners visited Mexico in 2010.
"Internationally celebrated destinations such as Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, to name a few, are among the safest, most welcoming and relaxing tourist destinations in the world," the Mexico Tourism Board said. "In addition, Mexican tourism destinations have lower crime rates than other prominent tourist destinations. There could not be a better time to visit Mexico."
Not so, argued the Texas Department of Public Safety in its own press release March 1.
"While drug cartel violence is most severe in northern Mexico, it is prominent in other parts of the country as well," said Texas DPS director Steven McCraw. "Various crime problems also exist in many popular resort areas, such as Acapulco and Cancun, and crimes against U.S. citizens often go unpunished."
While the Mexico Tourism Board mostly tweets about honeymoons in Cancun and tour packages for Riviera Maya, it also has tweeted about the Texas travel warning being too broad and linked to a YouTube video, featuring board official Rodrigo Esponda in Chicago pointing out that the distance between drug-gang-ravaged Tijuana and Cabo, is 1,000 miles.
Here's the YouTube clip:
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning for Mexico in September 2010. It states, in part:
"Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major drug trafficking routes. Nevertheless, crime and violence are serious problems. While most victims of violence are Mexican citizens associated with criminal activity, the security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well."