Lately I’ve been getting a lot of email from people who are concerned about the safety of traveling to the Cancun, Mexico area on vacation. I thought that it might be helpful to others if I share one of these email exchanges publicly. Here is a typical email, my response is below it:
Thank goodness I found you, my wife and I are planning to visit the Cancun area soon. But because of recent news reports about violence in Mexico our families are scared and have asked us to cancel our trip.
What can we say to them to calm their fears and convince them that we will be safe while on vacation in Cancun, Mexico?
Jack in Seattle
Dear Jack – The data simply doesn’t support avoiding tourist areas of Mexico. There have been exactly ZERO tourist deaths in the Cancun area due drug cartel violence.
In 2008 more than 4.5 million international tourists arrived at the Cancun Airport. The vast majority of these tourists went home with nothing worse than sunburn and a hangover. Tourists do die here, just like they do in every tourist destination, but if you look at the statistics you see that they die from drowning (usually because they swim while drunk) or from heart attacks or sometimes they die in car accidents.
If you read the US State Dept warning carefully you will see that it warns people away from the border areas, primarily Tijuana and Juarez. Those areas are 1200+ miles from Cancun. Would you avoid going to Miami, Florida because of violence in Detroit, Michigan? I wouldn’t.
It would be a shame for you to cancel your trip because of worry over violence toward tourists here. Tourists need to use common sense here; there is the normal petty crime you find in any tourist destination. But there simply isn’t violence against tourists here in Cancun.
Hope this helps,