Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Welcome to Tulum! Now, please sign here

The state of Quintana Roo, home to Cancún, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, is one of the most visited tourism spots in all of Mexico.

However, the area has also increasingly become a drug hotspot. A little over a year ago, Vice News reported on increased cartel activity in the Tulum area, and in February, a U.S. citizen was killed by a stray bullet in a shooting at a beach club. The other victim of the attack was allegedly a local drug dealer.

Draft letter for tourists by Tulum hotel association
A draft of the proposed advisory for visitors to Tulum, presented by the Tulum Hotel Association and the Quintana Roo Tourism Ministry. (Sedetur)

In efforts to inform and protect visitors to the Caribbean resort, Tulum hotels and the Quintana Roo Tourism Ministry are spearheading a proactive approach.

In the near future, tourists could be asked to sign a document — written in both Spanish and English and issued by the state tourism ministry — in which the signatory acknowledges that purchasing illegal drugs in Mexico is a crime.

Riviera Maya News reported that the one-page document is being circulated by the Tulum Hotel Association in hopes of winning consensus among member hotels.

“It is a format we suggest be integrated into the hotel check-in process,” Carla Patricia Andrade, director of the association, told Riviera Maya News. “It is a formal notification that in Mexico the consumption of these substances is illegal.”

If approved, all guests would be required to sign the document, confirming that they recognize the consequences of illegal drug consumption, Andrade said.

The idea behind the notice is to ensure that guests not only have a safe vacation but that they are aware that everybody in Tulum — foreigners included — are subject to the local laws.

Andrade told La Jornada Maya that Tulum is just as safe as any destination for those who come to enjoy the culture, the natural beauty, the adventure tourism, bird-watching, or just lazing on the beaches. “We have so much to offer here,” she said, “that it is not necessary to involve the consumption of illicit drugs.”

Drug use among tourists is a legitimate concern as evidenced by a tragedy in December —the bodies of two young U.S. citizens were found inside a rented suite in the Holistika neighborhood of Tulum. Local media outlets reported the cause of death was accidental overdose.

The proposed document is unequivocal, warning:

“Don’t put yourself at risk. Drug dealers on beaches and nightclubs will get you into trouble. They are not your friends, they’re criminals. Enjoy a drug-free vacation.”

With reports from Milenio, La Jornada Maya and Riviera Maya News

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