How Safe is Mexico for Groups?

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Meeting planners considering Mexico are increasingly challenged by recent travel advisories. How safe is Mexico for meeting and incentive travel?

The U.S. State Department has regularly been updating its travel advisory, giving some states within the country a Level 4, which indicates “do not travel,” although the majority of Mexico is at a Level 2 (“exercise increased caution”)—the same ranking given to France, Italy and the United Kingdom.

The Mexico Tourism Board advised that more than 40 of the country’s major international tourist destinations—including Quintana Roo, Baja California Sur, Mexico City, Yucatan and Oaxaca—have no travel restrictions. The issue, it says, is that media reports have confused the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory website rating with a travel warning or alert.

“Mexico continues to be a leading destination for travelers, welcoming over 39 million tourists in the past year with a 7 percent increase in international tourist arrivals, and becoming the sixth most-visited country in the world,” says Frank Maduro, VP of marketing at AIC Hotel Group. “Additionally, our hotels continue to see an increase in bookings from both new and return clients.”

In Acapulco, Jesus Radilla, Undersecretary of Tourism for Guerrero, says that his city has not had an incident involving tourists in many years. The local government there has created the Tourist Assistance and Protection Center “to provide special assistance to domestic and international travelers, a new training program for state police, the deployment of additional manpower, vehicles and drones during peak seasons, and the homologation of 9-1-1 as an emergency number.”

Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board, also calls Los Cabos “a very safe destination. Ninety percent of the beauty in Los Cabos is related to tourism alone, because we breathe and live tourism, everybody takes care of the tourists in a very deep way.”

A year ago, Los Cabos enlarged the surveillance system throughout the destination and connected cameras from hotels and private entities that face the outside outside, “so that all cameras are connected to provide better intelligence and response time in the case of an incident,” he says. “We worked with the Mexican marine to have a headquarter built in Los Cabos; we also work throughout the hotel association and the different suppliers to check on the very important rapid response network. And we have been working with the U.S. government.”

Despite a recent and isolated incident, in which a tourist was killed by a stray bullet, Mexico City is a global and safe destination for all travelers and hosts 39.3 million international visitors—20 million of which are American visitors—each year. As far as groups using resorts, Radilla says, “The resorts are, no doubt, a safe and controlled space. But the best Mexico has to offer is experiencing its culture, its people, its nature. Of course, it’s important that planners do their research because as with any destination, some areas are safer that others.”

For more information on the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory, click here.

This story was originally written by and reported on by Michelle Marie Arean on It was edited for 

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.