It’s been noticeable while travelling around northern Mexico for the last month that foreign tourism is down. Speaking to many Mexicans, especially those working in the tourist trade, are very saddened and upset that foreign coverage of the drugs war has scared lots of people off visiting the country, even though it’s really a very safe country in most areas, and no tourists have been affected so far.
And now this. The swine flu outbreak is bound to affect tourism even further (I read today that the largest German tour operator has already cancelled all trips to the country). It’s an understandable precaution, but it’s incredibly sad all the same.
Mexico really in the most incredible country I’ve visited. Aside from the beautiful cities, amazing scenery and the best food in the world, the thing that really stands out for me is the people. Wherever I’ve been, everyone has been so friendly, always offering to help out if I look lost, inviting me over for a drink when I’m on my own, giving me advice on places to visit, and gushing about how much they love thir country. I really feel at home here.
So I sincerely hope that this outbreak is short-lived, that life returns to normal and tourism isn’t affected too much. I’d hate to see such an amazing place suffer any more.
(On a side note, in case any of you who know me are worried, everything seems very normal here in Guadalajara. Aside from various sensationalist news stories, life proceeds here largely as normal. I’ve only seen a small handful of people wearing masks here, and there have been no confirmed cases yet here in the state of Jalisco. Let’s just hope it stays that way. Also, my travel plans were due to take me via bus back through Mexico City on our way to the south of the country. It’s possibly being over-cautious, and we’ve now changed our plans to avoid the city, especially as we’ve already spent time there. And lastly, I’m also very pleased to be travelling with a doctor at the moment!)