Travel advisors say shootings aren't deterring most Mexico travelers

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Cancun scene [Credit: gmstockstudio/Shutterstock.com]
A beach in Cancun. Photo Credit: gmstockstudio/Shutterstock

Recent shootings in Tulum and Puerto Morelos on Mexico's Caribbean coast have elicited some inquiries from clients, but there doesn't appear to be a huge amount of worry or cancellations.

For Jamie Root of Deep Roots Travel in South Bend, Neb., it's business as usual.

"It was an unfortunate and scary situation, but as we know, it can happen anywhere," Root said. While some clients have reached out with concerns, Root talked with them and they ultimately decided not to change plans.

Paula Prickett of Concierge Travel Advisors in Montgomery, Texas, said a group booked for Cabo San Lucas in November 2022 canceled and opted for Costa Rica instead, even though Cabo is some 1,500 miles from the Yucatan Peninsula, where the shootings occurred.

Chicago-based Foremost Travel did have some calls from group leaders, but no one canceled, said president Lynn Farrell.

Root and Prickett are independent contractors with Montecito Village Travel in Santa Barbara, Calif. One of their peers, Laila Matarwe of Five Star World Travel in Oceanside, Calif., said, "I think that folks are somewhat desensitized to these stories," saying none of her clients traveling to Mexico in the coming months have canceled.

Mexico is the No. 1 destination for agencies that are members of MAST Travel Network.

MAST president and COO John Werner said he hasn't yet heard about cancellations because of the shootings, but travel advisors have been reaching out to him about how to respond if clients ask about safety and risks.

"I always say these incidents are rare and seldom occur in the resort areas," Werner said. "Local, state and federal governments in Mexico have beefed up security on the beaches and outside the resorts to keep the area safe. All the resorts are gated and the general public is not allowed in. You have to be a guest of the resort or an employee to enter."

Jeanne Polocheck, owner of Well Traveled Texan in Houston, said some clients were talking about the news, but even those who were scheduled to travel to Mexico this past weekend were unconcerned.

What's your risk? Anywhere? How do you mitigate it? Can you? Or do we all just move along with our lives and do the best we can to be aware of our surroundings.– Jeanne Polochek, Well Traveled Texan

Polocheck has observed an interesting trend: "Before Covid, Mexico was on many clients' no list but now that it's one of the only places you can go that does not require vaccination or testing to get in, it suddenly seems OK for more clients to consider it."

She also spoke to the larger idea of risk. Citing a personal example, Polocheck said she knows the family of one of the victims of the Astroworld concert tragedy, a 14-year-old who attended her daughter's high school.

"So what's your risk? Anywhere?" she asked. "How do you mitigate it? Can you? Or do we all just move along with our lives and do the best we can to be aware of our surroundings and react to situations as best we can?"

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