The U.S Department of State has issued a new travel advisory for travelers headed to Mexico promoted by rising crime rates in the country. Cancun and the state of Quintana Roo remain at a level 2 advisory, meaning that travelers should exercise increased precaution. Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean are overall safe destinations, and the government has enhanced security measures over the summer period.
The United States has updated its travel advisory for Mexico. The state-level advisory considers factors such as violent crime, pickpocketing, and other risks tourists might encounter during their stay. Cancun, the most popular holiday destination in Mexico, remains at the level 2 advisory on a four-level scale, meaning that travelers should exercise increased precaution.
Although many Mexican states, including Zacatecas, Colima, and Sinaloa have moved up in the travel advisory due to violent crime affecting tourists, Cancun and Quintana Roo have retained their level 2 alert. Moreover, there are no new changes or recommendations in the latest U.S travel advisory concerning the Mexican Caribbean, as the state continues to bolster security measures over the summer months.
Keeping tourists safe while on their holiday is a priority for the local government. Over the past few months, several operations have been carried out involving thousands of troops to secure beaches and other tourist hotspots. Meanwhile, the National Secretary for Tourism (Sedetur) is working closely with U.S authorities to ensure the safety of American visitors.
Cancun and the state of Quintana Roo have also launched a new mobile application called Guest Assist which can be used to report a crime or receive customer service around the clock when it comes to safety. Operated by the state’s security office C5, it is an example of the government’s commitment to protecting tourists.
Rising crime rates in many parts of Mexico – including Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean – have been a major issue for tourism this year. As the summer vacation season started, Cancun launched a massive security operation to ensure visitors’ safety over the summer months involving thousands of troops from all levels of government. The operation, known as ‘Safe Beach’ saw the deployment of troops to patrol busy beaches and resort areas to deter criminal activity, especially organized crime groups.
There are currently no security-related travel restrictions affecting the Mexican Caribbean’s most popular destinations, which include Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, and the Riviera Maya. Although rare, violent crime can affect tourists. Most notably, earlier this summer a group of armed robbers targeted tourists in the otherwise peaceful Isla Mujeres island. In another incident, two Canadian citizens were killed in a Playa del Carmen condo during an attempted robbery.
What Does A Level 2 Travel Advisory Mean?
Areas categorized under a level 2 advisory “exercise increased precaution” mean that while generally safe to travel, visitors should take some precautions to avoid running into trouble. It is highly recommended to follow basic safety precautions to ensure a hassle-free trip. According to the U.S Department of State, tourists visiting Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo should keep high situational awareness, warning that violent crime may occur suddenly. Moreover, it is highly advised to avoid walking in dimly lit areas at night and to stick to touristy areas such as beaches and commercial streets.
Officials have noted that although crime rates have risen in the past months, it rarely affects tourists, especially violent crime. Moreover, visitors are much more likely to encounter petty crimes such as pickpocketing or scams.
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