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Robert Curley

Travel to Cancun Hurt by Faraway Drug Violence

By April 15, 2010

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Drug violence in Mexico has become nightly news in the U.S., and while most of the killings are literally thousands of miles away from the Mexican Caribbean, to most Americans, Mexico is Mexico.

As Reuters reported this week, tourist arrivals to Cancun fell 4 percent in the first three months of 2010, which should be high season. Travel is up over last year, which is good news, but fear among travelers remains, with some Cancun visitors saying they're afraid to go out at night.

My advice to travelers? On balance, it is probably as safe it ever was to travel to Cancun and Cozumel. Most of the violence in Mexico occurs near the border with the U.S. or in certain drug-producing regions of the interior. There have been some killings in Pacific tourist towns, but that's literally on the other side of the country.

The drug gangs currently have little reason to be active in the Caribbean tourist communities. That could change at any point, and the reach of the cartels is depressingly extensive. For now, however, I have to agree with Mexican tourism officials who say that the Caribbean region remains a relatively safe destination.

More Information on Travel to the Mexican Caribbean

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