Cancun, Q.R. — The latest United States travel guidance rates Mexico to be as safe for travel as numerous other high American travel destination countries including France, Spain and the U.K.
The new guidelines rate countries by levels, which is dependent on the risks they present to foreign travelers. The ratings range from Level 1 (lowest risk) to Level 4 (highest risk). The guidelines states that a Level 1 country means exercise normal precautions. Level 2 means visitors should exercise increased caution. Level 3 advises citizens to reconsider travel and Level 4 is simply do not travel.
Mexico is rated as a Level 2 travel destination, the same rating as France, Spain, the U.K, Germany, Belgium and Denmark, which are also high-travel destination countries for Americans.
However, five of Mexico’s 31 federated states have been rated in the do not travel category, which include Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero and are the states with the highest level of drug-related violence.
What most media headlines fail to say is that the US State Department travel guide does not include beach destinations such as Puerto Vallarta, Cancun or Riviera Maya which have the same travel safety rating as many other countries frequented by American travelers.
In an interview with the Miami Herald, Mexico’s Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid was optimistic about the impact of the State Department’s new guidelines.
“I’m happy. It’s much better than the previous one,” he said. “Our main foreign tourism destinations such as Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo, Los Cabos in Baja California Sur and Mexico City, are at the same level as Spain or France.”
US State Department spokesman Virgil Carstens said “Our overall advice is that Mexico is a Level 2 country.” He added that within Mexico, there are five states labeled as Level 4, which were already labeled under the previous system as “prohibited” or “defer non-essential travel” states.
The safe-rated Level 1 countries include Argentina, Canada, Chile, Finland and Japan.