Mexico set many records in recent years, most of them very positive in tourism terms. While most countries were closed, Mexico remained open and actually shattered many previous visitor records. The country became an “it” destination.
Unfortunately, a few other records came along too. Cartel violence spilled over from far away street corners and into tourist areas, leading to tragic deaths along some of the most popular resort lined shores.
Snatch and grab robberies also quickly became all too commonplace, as well heeled tourists flocked into the area in record numbers. And now, to protect the vital tourism which is pouring money into the country, Mexico is taking things up a notch.
Mexico is sending the army into Cancun and the Quintana Roo area to protect tourists.
Mexico Sends The Army To Cancun & Quintana Roo
Mexico has deployed 300 Army troops to the Quintana Roo area, with a strong focus on Cancun, Tulum and Riviera Maya. The troops will help keep the record numbers of tourist visitors safe from crime, while running targeted counter operations on criminal gangs.
Tourism accounts for nearly 10% of GDP in Mexico and has been a vital lifeline during treacherous times and rising inflation. Record inflation and wealthy visitors in an area struggling with local poverty can be a difficult mix.
The US has from time to time warned against travel to the area, but no more than many other destinations which are widely considered safe, such as Italy or the United Kingdom.
What Will The Mexican Army Do?
If you’re taking a windy walk along the stunning coastline of Quintana Roo, don’t be too surprised to see heavily armed military doing the same. It’s estimated that there are circa 1500 troops in the area, in total.
You’ll almost assuredly see the Mexican Army at some point during your stay.
In addition to beach patrols and reconnaissance around bustling food and nightlife areas, the Mexican Army will also look to drive back criminal organizations with raids based on intelligence.
Many of the world’s most beautiful places have military patrolling the areas, so don’t be automatically put off by the presence. It’s there to ensure fabulous trips.
Is It Safe To Visit Mexico Right Now?
Mexico is sending a bold message, with an additional 300 troops entering these high traffic tourist areas of Quintana Roo. Tourism is vital — and the added presence, plus counter attacks to repress the gangs could prove significant.
The bottom line, is that there’s crime everywhere and Mexico is not immune by any means. Visitors to San Francisco face many challenges with petty street crime, just as they do anywhere else in the world, from the Far East to the West.
Still, the recent wave of robberies and two untimely tourists deaths at a five star hotel have been cause for concern, and certainly hasn’t attracted the kind of tourism notice Mexico would hope for.
If you do travel to Mexico, standard advice applies: don’t flash wealth in questionable areas; ask hotels and trusted contacts for best practices with rides and things to avoid, and just generally don’t attract unwanted attention.