Dear friends of Cancun & Mexico,
Peter Greenberg is Travel Editor for CBS News, appearing on CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, and CBS Sunday Morning, among other broadcast platforms. Given his extensive and trustworthy background, we believe Peter’s opinion is one to be taken seriously. Recently, he has been traveling across Mexico as part of an ongoing media project to show the world just how safe and beautiful this amazing and exciting country is.
Photo: Rob (Flickr)
In his own words:
“Let me state something from the outset. I am not an unabashed apologist for Mexico, or its spokesman or an endorser. I am writing this as a veteran traveler to Mexico who has been going down there since 1973 without a single incident.
I am growing tired, and somewhat impatient with expressions of concern or worry — as well intentioned as they may be — about my traveling to Mexico.
Every time I am about to fly there — to Cancun, to Cabo, to Ixtapa, to Mexico City and many other locations — my friends, and sometimes even strangers advise me to ‘be careful’, ‘be safe’ or worse… ‘watch out.’
Watch out for what? great people? great weather? great service? affordable, memorable experiences?
We need to get out there and find a map. Then we need to study it to put things in proper perspective“
Agreed! Visual aids such as maps always help put things into perspective. Maybe this one will help:
(Click on the map to download a bigger version in PDF)
For a list of distances from troubled areas to the resort towns, check out our post: “Mexico Travel Warning Mapped”.
Peter goes on to talk about his view of the current Mexico drug war:
“The bottom line here is that Americans are NOT being targeted in this drug war. Travel and Tourism is too big an economic factor — too crucial to the Mexican economy and to millions of Mexican jobs — to allow that to happen.
There are two realities here: the multi-billion dollar drug business is not going to evaporate as long as demand — most of it from the United States — remains at record levels. And the second reality — travel and tourism remain robust in Mexico.“
We couldn’t agree more. It is time to stop pointing fingers and accept the fact that the drug war is a global problem, one that obeys the old business laws of supply & demand and which needs action from multiple sides in order to be won. And with beautiful spots like Tulum, Quintana Roo, how could anyone not want to come down and experience paradise?
Photo: Habanero Studio
Peter also had something to say about the recent Mexico Travel Warnings emitted by the Texas DPS:
“It has now become an annual ritual for the Texas Department of Public Safety (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) to issue a press release warning Americans not to let their kids go down to Mexico for spring break because their likelihood of being killed is high. Really? No one is going on spring break to Cuidad Juarez. And I’d bet my career that the murder rate among young Americans is higher in Harlingen, Mcallen and Brownsville than it is in Cancun and Cozumel. How irresponsible of the authorities in Texas.
There are places in San Francisco I wouldn’t go after dark, but it doesn’t stop me from going to one of my favorite cities. I travel to Washington, DC at least once a month, and that’s in spite of our nation’s capital having one of the highest murder rates in the world.“
We share Peter’s feelings; we think that Mexico is an enormous country, and to paint all of it as unsafe to travel is just plain irresponsible. Like we’ve said before, we’d recommend paying more attention to the Official U.S. State Department Mexico Travel Warning, clearly labeling Cancun, the Riviera Maya and more beach resort areas as perfectly safe to travel.
Photo: Sha-ma Geremi
Finally, Peter has some inspirational words for adventurers:
“A true adventure doesn’t necessarily have to include a familiar, American branded hotel and a cheeseburger from room service. Sleep at the resort, but don’t live there. Get out and see the world. Challenge your comfort level every day. Travel and tourism is the most powerful tool for breaking down barriers and building understanding. If you don’t have a passport, do not pass go until you get one.
Then, when you return home, tell your friends about your adventures. Even boast about them. And about the new friends you made along the way. Does Mexico have some hard work ahead of it in the drug wars? Absolutely. A new President will take office later this year and hopefully will continue the fight against the cartels launched by current President Felipe Calderon.
But will I be going back to Mexico? That, as you may have guessed by now, is a rhetorical question.“
Photo: Diana Diaz
We share and celebrate Peter’s adventurous spirit and are delighted to know that he will be coming back to Mexico. We’ll be more than happy to welcome him to Cancun with a big smile the next time he visits us!
We hope his story will help you stay calm and excited about your upcoming visit to Mexico. Should you need more facts about safety in Cancun and safety in Mexico, please take time to explore this website.
Have a comment about your recent or upcoming travel to Mexico? Sound off in the comments, we’d love to hear it from you.
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Feature Image Credit: Ana Salana