…to the new world virtual tourist, recently I’ve been reading the travel blogs and the world press with an emphasis on the Cancun, Mexico local press and the US travel writers, in days of yore, well at least 30 years or so, Cancun would take the hits for being the MTV Spring Break haven, Girls Gone Wild and the Real Cancun, there were even the typical, pedantic, elitist hits for being too Americanized or not noveau chic enough.
But not these days, today it’s fear and loathing Cancun style, courtesy of a handful of follow the leader types writing for pay and peanuts feeding off the wire services regarding the Mexican drug wars. Not that Cancun doesn’t deserve a smack down or two on occasion, the ole gal has seen her share of good times, bad times and more recently a hurricane or two, but she’ll survive.
One piece that caught my eye was this piece published on the Internet by the folks at Associated Content, AC for short, by a writer obviously lacking a researcher who sliced up a CNN Wire story pick up on the recent murder of a new, Cancun Police Commander, and then on her own volition added a handful of comments and a statement advising/ inferring that tourists should stop visiting Cancun due to the aforementioned violence in the CNN article. Never mind that the crime occurred well away from the Cancun tourist zone, in the downtown area, in an area not frequented by tourists, of what is known as Cancun City, the home to an estimated 700,000 people or more, most of whom eke out a living serving tourists in the Cancun Hotel Zone for an on average equivalent of about $5.00 US per day, a city with one of the lowest overall crime rates in Mexico.
While the writer of the article, one Julia Bodeeb White is entitled to her opinion, it’s obvious that it’s one founded on a lack of knowledge of the subject matter. The Cancun Hotel Zone and the Riviera Maya tourist zone areas of the Mexican Caribbean are among the safest travel destinations I’ve ever been to. It’s clearly a situation where the writer had no local geographic concept of the region and the location of the events she was reporting on. Unfortunately, these types of stories lead to poor public perception amongst travelers who rely on the press to not only report the news factually but hang perilously on their sometimes limited opinions, right, wrong or indifferent.
However, in my opinion, it is irresponsible for anyone to make such a devastating, wide sweeping statement regarding an entire major tourism destination without doing prior detailed research of the subject matter and supporting the opinion with substantiated facts and not tossing up what appeared to be a quickly written fluff piece, heavily hinged on the CNN lede, to make a blanket statement of disregard for the region.
Personally I’ve been visiting Cancun and the surrounding areas for close to twenty five years, usually to the tune of about 25-30 days a year, and have yet to witness any event that would have me advising potential visitors to stay away.
If, sun, sand and surf, along with a wonderful melting pot of people and culture supported by a modern Mexican city along with the historic allure of the Maya and nearby tropical islands aren’t your thing, well there’s always a bottle of fine wine, CNN and the Travel Channel to keep your mind off things.
Signing off and signing out…