Thursday, September 12, 2013

México: Tourism Secretariat Says That Foreign Tourists Rose 7.2% in 01-07/13, Follow Tips Below

According to EFE, revenues from international tourists totaled $8.3 billion in the January-July period 2013, up 7.2% compared to the same period in 2012, the Mexican Tourism Secretariat reports.

Tourist arrivals by air, the main mode of transportation for foreign visitors, are rising, the Secretariat also emphasized.

México welcomed 7.5 million foreign visitors who arrived by air from January 1 to July 31, 2013, up 7% from the same period last year.

COMMENT: On the downside, our readers should realize that Tourism Secretariat data reflects only ONE side of the tourism issue. 

Conversely, all of our readers need to be vehemently aware that traveling to México is NEVER low-risk!

Both property crime and violent crime, particularly for visitors of means, is very unpredictable and can be life-threatening if NOT handled properly, swiftly and effectively. Thus, the following suggestions are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED:

1. Register your itinerary and identifying data with your foreign affairs  agency, embassy or consulate if such a service is available;

2. Subscribe to international medical treatment and evacuation coverage before you leave home (as doing so after the fact may not be possible). Normally, such coverage runs $8-10 a day, but is much cheaper if an annual program is selected. Depending upon medical providers, payment may be demanded before medical treatment is provided;

3. Wear NO expensive or expensive-looking jewelry, particularly when walking as a pedestrian;

4. Wear only INEXPENSIVE watches (e.g., Casio, Timex, etc.) under US$40;

5. Carry less than US$100 in cash;

6. Carry an ATM or Debit card that has less than US$600. ATM robberies are commonplace in México and occur often, but you can significantly reduce your risk of robbery if you use ATM/Debit Card machines inside of banking institutions only and during DAYLIGHT hours only;

7. If you are making high-value purchases, do so only from reputable shops and ensure that you use reputable, radio-controlled taxis TO and FROM. For a list of taxis, contact your embassy or consulate;

8. This is VERY IMPORTANT: Do NOT resist any street criminal! No amount of property is worth your life! Property can be replaced, you CAN'T! Just because a criminal does not carry a weapon does not mean that he/she does not HAVE a weapon!;

9. Consider taking reputable, radio-controlled taxis at all times as it is not only safer, but saves you considerable time while in México; and

10. Be observant of all people who may be watching you as a possible target, thereby giving you time and opportunity to take counter-reaction to an impending threat.