Meeting Planners on Mexico Travel Warning

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Cancun, the most popular destination for incentive trips to Mexico, is not under a warning, though the State Department advised visitors to “exercise caution.”

How has the U.S. State Department warning against traveling to 6 Mexican states affected upcoming meetings?

The State Department issued a “Do Not Travel” advisory for Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa (home to Mazatlan), Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas states. The warning cited the threat of violent crime and/or kidnapping related to drug cartel violence in these destinations in Mexico.

The State Department also included Baja California state on its list of 8 Mexican states that travelers should “reconsider” traveling to, along with Morelos, home of the colonial city of Tepoztlan. Travelers were also advised to “exercise caution” due to crime when visiting Quintana Roo, the state that includes Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Cozumel.

Members of Prevue’s Editorial Advisory Board had mixed reactions to the warning. “We have two incentive programs operating in Punta Mita in May,” Josh Adams, industry relations manager, streamlinevents, said. “While each client’s security team is closely monitoring the situation in Mexico, we’ve not yet had any request to cancel or modify or events and no request to create communications.”

The same is true for Doug Wheeler, CEO, Summit Performance Group, who reported that his company is currently working on a couple of incentives in Mexico “but concentrating on Los Cabos or Nuevo Vallarta, which seem safer.”

Kimberly Bean of KBT Creative Support Services said that her corporate groups “are heeding the warnings issued and not considering Mexico at this time.”

Zachary Rabinor, founder and CEO of luxury travel company Journey Mexico, who is based in Puerto Vallarta, says he frequently fields questions about safety. “As it’s a large country and can’t be generalized, what we’ve done in response is put together a resource and very comprehensive map and state by state analysis of where there are no travel restrictions and where we continue to operate uninterrupted,” said Rabinor.

With proper preparation and information, he said, travel to and within Mexico continues to be a viable option. “While there is no 100 percent guarantee of complete safety when traveling anywhere, even within the U.S. and Europe, working with a trusted and professional destination specialist minimizes risk and keeps travelers in the right places at the right time.”

A version of this article previously appeared in our sister publication, Recommend.

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