Surprise, Mexico is safer many major U.S. cities such as Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston, Miami, Baltimore, and Saint Louis.
The news tells us that from coast to coast, no location is safe. Flip to a website, news channel or podcast, you will hear or read one of the following:
“The Mexican border is overwhelmed with immigrants.”
“The abductions in major Mexican cities and tourist destinations are plentiful and the government is losing control.”
The stories are compelling and shocking. They are drawing so much attention—especially online—that all of it MUST be true. But, thankfully, it is not. In the states, we are familiar with cities that have bad crime rates yet people in those cities never see it. That is because it’s coming from the parts of the city that most people do not frequent. This is also true in Mexico. But the facts are even more surprising than that.
Let’s start with a story. The Johnson’s, a family that lives in New Orleans, were planning a vacation for next year. They decided that they wanted to go to an international destination, but they wanted one at a lower cost since their budget is smaller than they would have liked. They had a family reunion that year and did not want to miss it. That would cut the budget in half which meant they need to stay closer to the U.S. and would prefer to go to one with a shorter flight. They have 5 days for this trip and do not want to lose a full day when they travel back and forth. Naturally, they decide to look at Canada and Mexico. Mr. Johnson immediately decides that Mexico is out of the question due to the crime rates. He does not want his 17-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son in Mexico. He has heard that rapes and drug use are “out of control” and people are getting murdered every day on the streets. “That government has no control down there!”
Ms. Johnson knows about the State Department’s warning but wanted to check on the data herself. She is a research analyst for a major consulting firm and likes checking for data before she makes any major decision. The problem is, where to find the best data? She landed on Prominix (http://www.howsafeismexico.com/global_crime_rates.html), a great website for travel data and focused on Mexico, for it on the neighboring countries to the U.S. This is what she found. Mexico’s murder rate is 14 per 100,00 per year—that sounded high. However, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Cleveland, Buffalo, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston, Miami, Baltimore, and Saint Louis all have higher murder rates than Mexico. In fact, her home town, New Orleans, has a murder rate that is 3.5 times higher than Mexico…and she has never felt unsafe in New Orleans. But she felt like there had to be some other data that would show that Canada is safer. Yet, there was no data to support that data. Canada’s violent crime rates for assault, kidnapping and rape are substantially higher than Mexico’s. Mr. Johnson was flabbergasted by that data. And the U.S. rates for that assault are five times higher than Mexico. It is starting to appear that they may be safer to travel to Mexico that most U.S. destinations.
What does this story prove? It shows what we already know. Crime is going to the most concentrated in the areas that most people are not going to frequent. That is very true in Mexico. Sure, there are problems in drug trafficking in Mexico, but most people never see it. The government in Mexico has secured the areas that have strong tourist attraction…as they should. They are doing the same thing as is done in Atlanta. Atlanta has a “convention district” where they use a concentrated police force and on-the-street Ambassadors (A special program financed by the hotel/motel tax that puts unarmed staff on the street to assist visitors with needs and look for security risks) to ensure visitors are safe and crime is reduced…and it works.
One of our favorite hotels is Hotel Xcaret Mexico (https://www.hotelxcaret.com/en/). This hotel is in the state of Quintana Roo. This state was the host to 15 million international travelers, boasting over a million coming from Canada, just last year. Knowing this state has travel advisories, 52% of Canadian visitors return to this district a second, third or fourth time in 2018. However, even with such a safe state, Grupo Xcaret, the parent hotel company, wants to provide a safe and welcoming environment for valued guests so they offer even more comfort. From arrival to departure at Cancun International Airport, Xcaret is with its guests for the entire stay. To ensure a seamless vacation experience, guests and visitors alike can rest assured knowing they are under the professional care of a highly trained staff and an expert security team.
It is always prudent to gather information on a destination before packing. When considering Mexico, you must consider the facts. It is a country that is convenient and affordable for U.S. travelers. The service by each of the hotels and resort are always well above par and ensure all visitors have a memorable experience. We recommend that you consider traveling to Mexico soon and build some memories of your own.