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21 May 2009

Is it safe for me to travel to Mexico?

It's hard to ignore all of the news about Mexico these days. As a result of the Swine Flu (H1N1) scare, many travelers are canceling their trips to Mexico. Planes to Cancun and Puerto Vallarta are nearly empty. Hotel rooms that were going for $700 or $800 a night are now less than $200. Once bustling tourist villages are now ghost towns. And this is not going to end anytime soon. Most cruises are scheduled a year in advance. This means that even 2010 travel to Mexico is being affected. The effect of the flu on the Mexican economy is staggering.

Since I just wrote a post recommending a resort in Mexico, it seemed like a good time to weigh in with my own point of view on this subject. I can't (and won't) tell you that it is 100% safe for you to travel to Mexico. I don't have a definitive answer on this. I can; however, tell you what I would do if I had another trip scheduled. I would go. In fact, I think there is no better time to travel to Mexico.

As I mentioned above, rates are rockbottom. In this economy, can you afford to pass on an $800 hotel room that is going for $100? If you are still leary, choose a resort that is participating in the Flu Free Guarantee. These resorts (including Karisma Hotels, the group who runs the Sensatori) are so confident that guests won't contract the Swine Flu that they are providing a guarantee:

In the highly unlikely case that you do catch H1N1 A, you'll receive one free vacation a year, for three consecutive years, for the length of the original stay*, as well as additional discounts.

We returned from our Mexico trip just before the Swine Flu hysteria (yes, I classify it as hysteria) struck. Even without that cloud hanging over the country, tourism was suffering. The hotels were not at full capacity (even though it was spring break). And, judging from the gratitude we received with even just a $1 or $2 gratuity, the people of Mexico need tourism to survive. If you are considering a trip to this beautiful country, PLEASE continue to consider it, or even make the move and book it. Mexico needs its tourists back.

Note: While my trip to the Sensatori was a fully comped press trip, they did not offer me any additional compensation to write this post. This post was written by me, from my heart, with no influence from any company or tourism group.


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