Is Swine Flu Killing Mexican Tourism ?
- or is it a Great Time to Go?Mexican tourism, already in a funk because of the the depressed world economy and spiraling narco killings, has been dealt a devastating third blow with the outbreak of the swine flu.
A Yahoo! News article today reports virtually empty planes from Miami and beaches in Cancun. The Mexican central bank had predicted a 4.8% contraction in the Mexican economy this before the outbreak. No telling how much it will shrivel now and how severe the impacts will be to the tourist industry.
The peso, already at a bargain exchange rate of 13 to one earlier in the month (I was a beneficiary of that to a degree in a recent trip to La Paz and San Jose del Cabo, was at 14 to one on 4/27.
So some would argue it's a great time to travel there, me among them - it's just a question of managing risk. What are good destinations? Los Cabo, for one, the standard of living there is already high, they have a proactive state government (Baja California Sur) that has already made impressive shows of force to counteract any perception the the narco-mafiosos have made any inroads there or can operate with impunity. Airfares are dropping, and even lodgings that priced in dollars are willing to negotiate (worked for me - I managed to get a suite with kitchen for the price of a small double).
Other areas to consider would be Nayarit and Western Jalisco, both accessible from Puerto Vallarta. Similar to the stock market, when everyone's selling it's often a good time to buy.