Is Mexico a safe destination?

The most recent U.S. State Department travel advisory for Mexico was issued in November 2018 and the Level 2 advisory (exercise increased caution) is on par with a handful of destinations most Americans wouldn’t think twice about traveling to, including France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

It’s also important to remember that there are four travel advisory levels in all: Level 1 (exercise normal precautions); Level 2 (exercise increased caution); Level 3 (reconsider travel) and Level 4 (do not travel).

Right now, the State Department only warns Americans not to travel to five of Mexico’s 31 states due to the threat of crime. Those include Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas.

Meanwhile, the states of Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo, which account for a bulk of Mexico’s tourism, remain under a Level 2 advisory. The State Department even points out that there are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in those states, which include the nation’s most popular tourist areas such as Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Riviera Maya, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and La Paz.

“It is a safe destination. You get out of your plane, go to your transfer and then go to your resort. There are 1,000 hotels and resorts in the Cancun and Riviera Maya region so there are tons of options,” travel expert and travAlliancemedia President and CEO Mark Murphy said during an appearance on FOX & Friends First last year. “If you go to those resorts you’ll find that there’s a lot of security just to get into the resort.”

“You don’t go to certain areas that you know are hotbeds for either gangs or drugs. There are areas outside of the tourist zones themselves that have that and that’s what they want you to stay away from,” he added.

350 pesos tax required for tourists visiting Baja California Sur

Tourists visiting the Mexican state of Baja California Sur will be required to pay a tax of 350 pesos (approximately $18.50) starting Saturday, November 9, 2019.  

The taxes will be charged directly to tourists and will be payable at kiosks located at airports for travelers arriving by air, while the port authority will be responsible for collecting the tax from tourists who arrive by sea, according to Mexico News Daily. Hotels and other accommodation providers will charge visitors who arrive via land. Governor Carlos Mendoza Davis says visitors will also be able to pay the tax on a website and mobile app.

The state, which is home to such popular destinations as Cabo San LucasSan Jose del Cabo and La Paz, says the tax is to be used for “use of Infrastructure” and “social service works.” The Associated Press adds that resorts in Mexico are often surrounded by poor communities and resorts have been criticized for doing little to benefit them. The Baja California Sur government expects to raise 490 million pesos (approximately $25.6 million) annually from the tax, which was approved by the state Congress in 2016 but was only enacted now.

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