With events around the world getting canceled and airlines facing billion-dollar losses, the overall impact of Covid-19 can't be denied. If you have clients asking about travel to Mexico, here is an update on the situation south of the border.
As of March 6, there have been six confirmed cases of coronavirus in Mexico, with three cases in Mexico City and the rest in Sinaloa, Coahuila and Chiapas.
On March 4, representatives from the Mexican Caribbean held a webinar to discuss the facts about Covid-19 in the region. According to the presentation, "Mexico has no Covid-19 travel health notice from the CDC due to low number of cases and low risk." In fact, Mexico's general Travel Health Notice from the CDC remains at the lowest, "Green level 1," meaning there are no reasons to avoid travel. Currently the U.S. is only recommending travelers avoid China, Iran, South Korea and Italy.
"The current situation is affecting all aspects of the travel and tourism industry," said Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board. "While we have seen some last-minute changes or cancelations, they have been minimal. We continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis to assess and are prepared to respond as needed. The destination is also working with partners to increase marketing incentives." Esponda also notes that some business has been redirected to Los Cabos from long-haul destinations, but it has not been significant.
The 45th annual Tianguis Turistico, to be held this month in Merida, is still scheduled to happen, even with other high-profile events and conferences around the world pulling the plug, like ITB Berlin, Facebook's Global Marketing Summit in San Francisco and, most recently, the South by Southwest festival in Austin.
According to a statement released by Virtuoso, "For those who have a vacation booked in the coming days, weeks or months, it's valid to feel some trepidation. Fears of contracting the virus or even being quarantined, are valid." Virtuoso reached out to its 22,000 affiliated advisors around the world, who reported that many of their clients are choosing destinations that are closer to home, such as Mexico.
There was talk toward the end of February that President Trump was considering closing the border with Mexico to help prevent the spread of the virus. However, Reuters is reporting that in that same press briefing, Trump said, "We're thinking about all borders. We have to think about that border, but ... this is not a border that seems to be much of a problem right now."
Mexico's foreign ministry released a statement that said it has not been notified of any border restrictions.