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Mexican tourism official: Travel alerts a ploy to keep dollars in U.S.


SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Son. — The two travel alerts sent out by the U.S. State Department warning travelers about an increase in crime in border cities in Baja California and Sonora are really negative advertising to prevent American citizens from crossing to Mexico and spending their dollars there, said David Rojas Rojas, general director of the Mexicali COTUCO, the Comite de Turismo y Convenciones, the Convention and Visitor Bureau, known by its acronym in Spanish COTUCO.

Rojas, who promotes tourism in Los Algodones, Mexicali and San Felipe, said it was obvious that the economic crisis in the U.S. is the reasoning behind curtailing American tourism in order to prevent dollars being spent in Mexico.

“We are not minimizing the violence that exists in our country but we are doing well,” Rojas said pointing out that there is violence in the U.S. as well.

“We know that in Las Vegas there were 4,000 crimes committed and that in San Diego several people have been kidnapped and nothing is said and no one is alerted,” he said.

About spring breakers visiting San Felipe, Rojas said that hotels in the area El Cortez and San Felipe Marina already have a high number of rooms booked.

Just last week, San Felipe and Ensenada were filled with tourists participating in Fat Tuesday carnivals.

On a final note, Rojas said local, state and federal agencies on safety worked cooperatively to provide a safe 2009 Caribbean Series, an international baseball tournament that takes place in Mexicali as well as past international expos such as Agrobaja, a farming and fishing exhibition, which will be March 12-14.

“There will always be campaigning, but we want to make it clear that Mexicali is aware of the travel advisories and we take care of our visitors to the point of providing additional policing especially in tourist areas and events,” Rojas said.

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