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Monday, May 23, 2011

NEWS - Tourists just get ‘shots of tequila’

On Thursday, President Felipe Calderón denied that violence and criminal acts have affected tourism in Mexico and assured that visiting Mexico is safe.

“I have seen thousands of spring breakers having fun in our country … to my understanding, the only shots they received were tequila shots,” he said.

At the Global Summit of Travel and Tourism in Las Vegas, journalist Peter Greenberg, a specialist in tourism, interviewed President Calderón. Calderón stated that the number of problems related to violence and foreign tourists can be counted on one hand.

“Serious crimes are not affecting tourists. It is true that people are afraid; yet, we have received more than 3 million international visitors to Mexico this year,” he added.

President Calderón said that Mexico has a lower homicide rate than some U.S. states such as Washington D.C., Mississippi and Louisiana.

He also reported that last year tourism grew by 6 percent, and 10 percent came from the U.S.

President Calderón said that he respects the Second Constitutional Amendment of the United States that allows the sale of weapons. Nevertheless, he also said that not all guns end up in the hands of good U.S. citizens.

“Eighty five percent of the 100,000 guns seized from criminals in Mexico were bought in the United States,” he added.

After the interview, the World Travel and Tourism Council awarded Calderón for making Mexico the first country whose head of state signed the Golden Book of the World Tourism Organization.

“One of the main objectives of this summit is to provide opportunities for the Mexican tourist industry,” he said.

Accompanied by his wife Margarita Zavala, President Calderón said that Mexico ranks 10th among the most visited countries in the world, and that he hopes Mexico will rank 5th by 2020.

“We are investing 50 billion pesos in infrastructure every year, to build and upgrade highways, seaports and airports. That way we will increase the country’s competitiveness and provide better transportation,” he said.

Speaking to representatives of global business and the tourism industry, Calderón said that Mexico is the best place to invest in and that the federal government is doing everything it can to help investors.
Source: The News