The international arrivals gate at Mexico City airport. The international arrivals gate at Mexico City airport.

US travel advisory a setback to recovery of tourism: Foreign Affairs

Restricting travel for business and tourism represents a loss for both countries, ministry warns

The Foreign Ministry has expressed concern over the U.S. government’s recommendation to its citizens to avoid travel to Mexico.

In a statement released Wednesday night the ministry warned of a “bilateral impact on the reactivation of tourism and connectivity with the North American region.”

Citing Covid-19 and crime in a handful of states, the U.S. State Department raised its travel advisory to level 4 on Tuesday, or “Do not travel.” At least 115 other countries have been increased to level 4 status this week.

In 2019 over 173 million tourists traveled between Mexico and the United States, 81 million of whom were Mexican. In that year Mexican tourists spent more than US $8 billion in the United States, while U.S. travelers spent close to $27 billion visiting their southern neighbor. A combined 775,249 airline flights crossed the border.

“With the U.S.A. we are united by a complex common border and a diversity of natural markets which together with Canada form one of the biggest supply chains in the world,” the statement read. “Restricting productive travel for business and tourism by inhibiting the flow of travelers between the two countries represents a loss for the two economies, in the interior, along the border and in the cruise market,” it continued.

The Foreign Ministry pointed to the success of Mexico’s vaccination efforts. “Faced with the pandemic, Mexico has promoted universal inoculation and international cooperation in access to vaccines. Proof of this is in the biosafety and vaccination measures, which have placed it among the 15 countries with the highest application of vaccines against Covid-19, building international confidence and certainty.”

The latest U.S. travel advisory on Mexico reads, “Do not travel to Mexico due to Covid-19. Exercise increased caution in Mexico due to crime and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk … The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a level 4 travel health notice for Mexico due to Covid-19, indicating a very high level of Covid-19 in the country.”

The advisory warns specifically against travel to Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán and Sinaloa due to crime and to Tamaulipas due to crime and kidnapping.

Other countries raised to level 4 travel advisory by the U.S. State Department this week include the UK, Canada, France, Israel and Germany.

Additional advice for people traveling to Mexico and specific information about the security situation in each of the 32 states can be found on the State Department website.

Source: El Universal (sp), Reuters (en)

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