Eight percent of MAST Travel Network agents have clients who
have recently canceled trips to Mexico, according to a member
"The intensifying issues of immigration, the border
wall, and trade are, in my view, going to cause some customers to think twice
about a vacation in Mexico if they feel they are not welcome," said John
Werner, president and COO of MAST. "I don't believe anyone should feel
that way, but based on our member survey, agents are hearing concerns from
The survey was conducted last week, and 166 members of the
Of the agents who reported clients that had canceled Mexico
trips in the previous two weeks, 20% said they rebooked another destination, and 80% said their clients
MAST reported that 43% of agents said clients have expressed
concern about upcoming trips to Mexico.
MAST said 52% of agents have had customers say they don't
want to go to Mexico when inquiring about a vacation. And, 49% said clients
have expressed concern about traveling anywhere outside of the United States,
not just to Mexico.
Werner said Mexico is MAST's No. 1 destination.
"Since these disputes are not going away, I feel
business will be impacted," he said. "It remains to be seen how much.
But we are not waiting to see how this plays out before taking action."
Last week, MAST said it held a conference call with
preferred suppliers, the Mexico Tourism Board and ASTA to discuss a plan of
promoting travel to Mexico.
"While a number of political events are affecting the
travel industry worldwide, my concern today is Mexico," Werner said on the
call. "MAST wants to work with our preferred suppliers serving Mexico in
an effort to not let political events [cause] a big drop in American
vacationers and visitors to Mexico, which all our livelihoods depend on in some
Werner proposed an action plan including a letter-writing
campaign to legislators that are responsible for travel and tourism issues; making
a list of talking points for agents to use when discussing Mexico with clients;
gathering photos and testimonials from clients enjoying Mexico; and using a
portion of marketing and advertising dollars on a campaign called "Why Go
"The conference call conveyed mixed observations from
the company leaders," MAST said in a statement. "Some agreed to
addressing the situation, while others did not believe this was a huge concern."
MAST said Ana Sofia Lanczyner, Midwest director of the
Mexico Tourism Board, pointed out that her organization has started a new
marketing campaign, "Welcome to Mexico," MAST said.