By ABC-7’s Angela Kocherga
Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer vacation season, and Mexico has long been a favorite destination, but the drug violence has scared many tourists away.
Now, beach vacation spots in Mexico could entice others to book a trip this summer.
For many Americans, these stunning beaches are just a fond memory. This summer, there’s a push to lure tourists back to Mexico – with bargains and reassurances.
“For me personally, I would have no qualms traveling to any of the resorts in Mexico; in fact, I just took a group of about 43 people in March down on a Mexico cruise, a Caribbean cruise,” said Paul Coleman of Sun Travel.
The U.S. State Department has issued a series of travel warnings for parts of Mexico coping with drug violence, mainly along the border.
Tourists in resort areas have not been targeted. Even so, some people are staying away from Mexico altogether.
“It’s crazy, the building going crazy and it’s been doing that for a number of years. They need the help to get people down there now. A lot of rooms. Lots of rooms,” said travel agent Debbie Starboard.
In an effort to fill more of those rooms, a resort in the Mayan riviera recently hosted this travel agent and others from the U.S.
Travel agents are expecting a better summer season this year. For one thing, the economy is improving, and then there’s the pent-up demand from all those families who stayed home last summer.
“We’re going to go see Mickey Mouse. Oh yeah,” said one traveler.
Some may still decide to visit Mickey Mouse, but this summer there’s hope others will return to Mexico.
There is one new development for Rocky Point, a beach just three hours south of the Arizona border. The U.S. Consulate for that area warns drivers to beware of “fake checkpoints” along the Mexican highway because in some cases they are manned by drug traffickers.