Security measures implemented in Mexico have led to
significant crime reduction in the country's top tourist areas, Mexico minister
of tourism Enrique de la Madrid said Tuesday.
Speaking to more than 1,700 travel agents during a Travel
Weekly webinar, de la Madrid also said that Mexico plans to produce a crime
statistics index to enable members of the travel industry to show that tourists
are safe from crime.
"The only way to prove that many of the events and
crimes that have taken place are not really affecting tourism or tourists is to
show the numbers," he said. "We want to give you this information so
you can give this information to your clients and say, 'These are the numbers,
and this is the level of risk you are facing if you go to Mexico, which is
close to zero.'"
De la Madrid outlined ways that the country's crime-reduction efforts are working. In Baja California and Quintana Roo, he said, strengthening local and state police, reinforced with additional military presence, has yielded good results. Since October, the murder rate in Baja California, home to Los
Cabos and La Paz, fell 90%, he said.
De la Madrid said that Mexico is sometimes "treated
unfairly" when it comes to safety.
"If we Mexicans decided whether to travel to
Washington, Los Angeles or Chicago based on the crime rates, it's very likely
we wouldn't go," he said. "But we know we wouldn't go to the areas
where those things take place. And we know we'd have a great time. It's the same
story in Mexico. The crime rates that people watch are not affecting
Travel agents, he said, can help put the crime in
perspective, and should remind travelers that the "world is not a
De la Madrid also said that Mexico would be more proactive
about dispelling false information. He said the nation's response to reports
that tainted alcohol at resorts were harming travelers, was too slow.
"We are not going to tolerate any kind of information
anymore that is misleading and is harming our reputation," he said. "This
was not tainted alcohol. This was abusive drinking."