Over and over the last few months, major American publications such as the New York Times have issued warnings about the war that drug lords in Mexico have declared on civilians in the country. The war has reportedly lost 10,000 lives every single year for the past four years alone. But despite regular news about mass graves, public gunfire, gruesome decapitations and kidnappings, in one way or another, to American students during the spring break, the draw of cheap beer, perennial sun, sand and surfing has been a little too tempting to resist. It's a wonder parents have let their kids go – reading news every day as they do, that some metropolis in the country is witnessing dozens of murders each day. Apparently though, 40,000 lost lives are what it takes to get people to finally sit up and take notice. The idea of a cheap Mexico vacation has finally begun to hit.
But despite this, the hit has been relatively modest. In a Wall Street Journal article, American Express Travel Agency reports that a 15% drop has been seen in tourists requesting to travel to Mexico. Mazatlán, a major seaside resort in Mexico, has seen only three major cruise lines drop the city completely from its itinerary. The Texas government has warned students to take their carousing to hot hot spots like Acapulco and Cancun – both serious troubled places for drug violence. Mexico's travel agency, on the other hand, calls all this anxiety from Americans rather ridiculous and misinformed. When a government warning says that students in Texas need to "avoid traveling to Mexico in Spring Break and stay alive," it may be understandable that the government of Mexico may be concerned about the tourism industry.
So is this even wanted? Maybe all the violence in Mexico gets Mexican civilians caught in the crossfire. Surely American tourists who hang out at the resorts and tourist areas that surround them should be safe? It was probably the 110 American tourists who died in Mexico last year. Admittedly, the government estimates that most of these "tourists" were actually drug traffickers or something. But even though a Mexico vacation tourist makes a living out of Mexico, street intersection and other petty non-drug-related crime can often be overwhelming. There are other warnings handed out to tourists as well that can take some of the fun out of a Mexico vacation – warnings that you should never drink any drink that doesn't open right in front of you, never leave after sunset and that You should preferably travel in groups.
Is it time to let go of the idea of a Mexico vacation after all? Look at it this way – Starwood opens two new hotels in Mexico; and Hilton is opening six new hotels this year over there. Either their confidence that Mexico will overcome their problems is strong, or they are sure Americans do not care.