Mexico was formerly a great place for Budget Travelers. It had a little of everything. Great weather in the winter with cool nights and warm days. Plenty of golf at very attractive pricing. A nice wine district with many varietials to try. Water sports like parasailing, water skiing, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, sailing in small Sunfish boats on the beach or in large cruising yachts. Lots of shopping with low prices.
For over a year, Mexico has seen a decline in tourism. With all of these above mentioned features going for it, why aren't more people going to our southern neighbor?
Part of the decline has to do with the swine (N1H1) flu outbreak. It was first discovered in Mexico and the news media played reports every day how many people were infected and it was not a safe place to travel.
The fact is that there were people infected in Mexico with N1H1. But the total number of cases, did not even come close to the total number of cases and deaths in the United States. I never saw news reports telling people to stay away from Chicago, Orlando, Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles, or anywhere else in the U.S.
If there were more and larger outbreaks of H1N1 flu in the United States, why didn't the news reporters and media pundits have a field day with why you shouldn't even go outside your house? It was just a lot easier to have many news stories about Mexico than it was to tell people to stop all travel in the U.S.
The second reason why there is a decline in tourism is all of the bad press about the drug deals and violence in Mexico. While it is true, that many border towns have drug related violence, it is not a truth that it is like that everywhere. Have you ever been in downtown Detriot, MI? Or downtown South Providence RI, downtown Roxbury, MA or the Watts area of LA?
There are many places where locals and tourists don't dare to travel right here at home. Drug deals, yes. Murder and violence, yes. But that doesn't keep people from visiting LA just because there is a part of the city that should be off limits for tourists. People are still visiting New Orleans and Orlando, even though those places have hurricanes and bad weather.
And it should hold that while there are some areas of Mexico that are bad, the country as a whole is just like our country. There are places to go, people to see, things to do and at a very reasonable price.
I really liked the article I read the other day that U.S. citizens were moving to Mexico looking for work. As stated in "Forbes Magazine", the Mexican consulate in New York had a 40% jump in the number of people in the U.S. asking about moving to Mexico.
Maybe those people know something that you should know - Mexico is a great place to visit and a great place to live. Oh - did I mention that the health insurance in Mexico is $250 per year?
Despite the economy I hope you are travelling and enjoying yourself. Until next time, let me know what is on your mind, and how you are doing, O.K.?
Jim Fortune - the Bella Budget Travel Guy