Quintana Roo Governor Reassures Tourists Of Their Safety With Public Display Of Security Protocols
Ninety percent of tourists feel safe and secure in Cancun and Quintana Roo despite the recent uptick in violence according to Quintana Roo Governor, Carlos Joaquin. The Governor made the statement while displaying some of the state’s recent safety developments.
Speaking at a promotional event in Acapulco, Joaquin commented on the trust that tourists have in the security protocols in Quintana Roo. Although no statistics were quoted, nor any possible survey, the continued popularity does suggest that the problems faced by the state are not impacting tourists in a devastatingly meaningful way.
The state has seen a dramatic increase in violence over the past year, directly correlated to Cancun and Tulum’s explosive growth. Organized crime has seeped further into the cities as the growing tourist market increases the value of the drug trade. With multiple gangs attempting to seize control of the valuable territories, the murder rate has soared, leaving well over 130 dead in the state since the beginning of the year.
The reality does remain that tourists are still very safe in Cancun and Tulum. If the victims are separated into two groups- tourism and organized crime- visitors make only a tiny fraction of those affected and in most instances where tourists are directly impacted, they are not the target.
Some statistics previously given suggest that Cancun is technically safer than the likes of Paris or Las Vegas. It was assumed this included petty crimes like pickpocketing, but the comparison does lend some context to the situation.
That does not take away from the severity of the problems faced by Quintana Roo. Tulum’s unchecked growth is already drawing comparisons to Acapulco – a city that was once the toast of Mexico but has transformed into one of the most dangerous cities in the world. The violence being seen in both Cancun and Tulum is worryingly closer to the tourist sector. Although many visitors rarely venture from their resorts in the hotel zone, hundreds have been in close proximity to some recent attacks on local establishments in the downtown area.
Cancun’s advantage of being the easiest beach destination in the world to visit has evaporated. European tourists have their own spots reopening, and the US market has a number of destinations in the Caribbean to choose from that aren’t suffering from the same gang violence.
The government is taking steps to alleviate the stress placed upon the state, and there are signs that they are having an impact. The C5 system, a network of police and private surveillance cameras located around the state, is growing all the time as more businesses volunteer their own setups. It is hoped that the system will make responses more preventative as opposed to reactive, and at the very least will give the authorities the opportunity to identify those responsible for the problems.
The Tourist Security Battalion, a branch of the national guard installed in November, continues to patrol the beaches and hotel zones of Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen. Gauging the effectiveness of the force is complicated, but the presence of armed soldiers is likely to dissuade at least some criminal activities in the vicinity.
What the future holds for Quintana Roo is hard to predict but, for now, at least, tourism is still strong. Hotels are seeing strong occupancy rates for the summer and investment is still flooding into the state in the form of new hotels. Many are betting on the success of Cancun and Tulum, and if the governor is correct in his 90% estimate, things aren’t likely to change anytime soon.
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