Organization Cites Violence, Kidnapping, And Unregulated Alcohol As Major Issues In The Region
A United States governmental organization has announced fresh travel advisories for Mexico and Cancun. The new release has quoted the country as being a major risk for American travelers due to a multitude of concerns.
The organization, named OSAC or the United States Overseas Security Advisory Council, is a group that monitors overseas situations and how they might affect American travelers. They provide regular updates for tourists, diplomats, and other ex-pat groups. Although they are not a fully government-funded program, they are closely affiliated with and work with the travel and tourism bureau in the US.
Listed on their most recent update for Mexico, OSAC says, “Each year, thousands of U.S. citizens visit Mexico during spring break. While the vast majority travel safely, visitors should consider the following factors when planning their vacation or traveling throughout Mexico”.
The page then proceeds to run through a breakdown of all potential threats posed to tourists in Mexico. Although not specified directly for Cancun, the city is comfortably the most popular destination in the country.
Under the crime section, the group states, “Crime, including violent crime, can occur anywhere in Mexico, including in popular tourist destinations. Travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities occur, and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations. U.S. citizens should exercise increased caution in the downtown areas of Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum after dark.”
Although the message sounds stark, tourists should be aware that the overwhelming majority of visits to the region are completely safe. Petty crime is common in almost every major tourist destination across the world, and exercising general precautions will always pay dividends for visitors.
Government officials in Quintana Roo recently announced that Cancun was statistically safer for tourists than cities like Paris and Las Vegas, which may run against popular notions of safety. Most tourists wouldn’t think twice about a trip to Paris, but in light of recent events may question whether Cancun was a safe bet for them and their families.
The list continues to mention sexual assault and unregulated alcohol, linking the latter with many of the other crimes. In this case, unregulated alcohol could mean several things. Some liquor bottles could be mislabeled and the alcohol inside may be an illegally produced substance not bound by the typical safety measures. It may be much stronger than normal or may contain impurities that can affect the health of the person drinking it. The government is battling this kind of issue, and once again, they are frequent problems across the world for many tourist hotspots.
The page also provides a list of advice for tourists to help keep themselves safe. Most of the suggestions are a good rule of thumb for any traveler and should be followed regardless of the destination.
As much as these travel advisories may seem worrying, it is important to keep the reputation of the region in context. Organized crime continues to be a problem in Cancun and Tulum, but for the most part, it doesn’t directly affect tourists. The government is putting systems in place to help counter the negative consequences of these illegal activities and is seeking the support of several other countries across the world in this fight.
Choosing to travel to Cancun is a personal decision, but acknowledging the statistics is important for enjoying a trip to the city. Careful planning and common sense help prevent the vast majority of any issues being faced and choosing to become involved with drugs and other illicit activities drastically increases the chances of something bad happening.
Those traveling to Cancun in the near future should continue to keep on top of any changes to regulations and contact their accommodation provider prior to departure to avoid any issues.
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