As 22 tourists were held at gun point and robbed in Puerto Vallarta this past week, the occurrence has would be travelers questioning their vacation plans, and caused the U.S. to once again update a travel warning to the country. The tourists were on a bus tour as part of their Carnival Cruise when the gunman robbed them. Carnival had then made the decision to cancel the tour indefinitely, although they have not removed Puerto Vallarta from their itinerary. The unfortunate event has once again put Mexico’s drug war violence into the spotlight just as the country was expecting a rebound for their tourism.
Puerto Vallarta is on the State Departments list as a safe travel destination in Mexico as well as Cancun and Cabo San Lucas. With the spring break travel season quickly approaching, many American college students have decided to cancel travel plans in light of the robbery incident.
Mexican officials are speaking out, and insisting Puerto Vallarta is still a safe place to visit. They also urge tourists not to step out of the areas they consider safe claiming the robbery was an isolated incident in an area that was not a part of Puerto Vallarta proper.
The situation in Mexico continues to be a burden on the shoulders of the country’s travel industry. It is unfortunate that the country must deal with the issues of drug-related violence among others. It is frustrating on all sides when planning a vacation, then cancelling due to safety concerns. Travelers miss out on an adventure, businesses lose profit, and the country itself is set back by the loss of tourism. One can only hope that the long time war on drugs will eventually subside so that the tourism industry can grow once again, and also that the safety of Mexico’s residents are ensured.
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