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Mexican airport operators report low passenger numbers due to drug war

10-Jun-2011 11:03 AM

Mexican airport operators reported slow passenger growth for May-2011 as international visitors “shunned” the country due to an escalating drug war (Dow Jones/Reuters, 09-Jun-2011). Another factor that contributed to the sluggish numbers was the bankruptcy of air carrier Mexicana. The number of travellers deplaning in vacation destinations such as Acapulco and Cozumel posted double-digit percentage declines in May-2011. GAP, ASUR and OMA are upbeat that the upcoming summer travel period will boost passenger numbers.

Meanwhile Mexico’s Board of Tourism COO Rodolfo Lopez Negrete has defended his country’s travel situation, stating claims from Texas state government are “ludicrous”, “misinformed” and may damage the country’s safest tourist destinations. Warnings were issued in Jan-2011 and Mar-2011 over travel to Mexico, with specific mention that resorts such as Acapulco and Cancun were “havens of violence”. “Our safety message is simple: avoid travelling to Mexico during the Spring Break and stay alive,” the Texas warning read.

Mexico’s Board of Tourism: “We recognise that there are certain destinations in Mexico, particularly at the border, that we would not recommend Americans go on vacations, or Mexicans for that matter. This violence that has been in Ciudad Juarez – Cancun is almost 1300 miles away. Obviously, you’re not going to stop going to Dallas because there’s a problem in New York.” Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, COO. Source: Reuters, 09-Jun-2011.