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Tourism At Baja Beaches Hurting Despite Being Safe

Audio

Aired 1/26/11

Even though the drug war violence in Mexico has stayed away from the beaches in the Baja Peninsula, the region is losing in tourism.

Promotional photo of a sunset in Bahia de los Angeles, by Baja California's state tourism agency.
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Above: Promotional photo of a sunset in Bahia de los Angeles, by Baja California's state tourism agency.

Most of Baja California's beach communities have escaped the major drug violence seen in other Mexican cities, like Tijuana, Monterrey, or Ciudad Juarez. But tourism is still down in the entire region.

The popular tourist town of Rosarito, located a half-hour south of the border, is one of those places. The tough economy, and a U.S. State Department travel warning for parts of Mexico are hurting business.

"We're responding with federal and local campaigns to show that Baja California is safe," said Jorge Peon, general manager of the Rosarito Beach Hotel. "We're even publishing testimonials online from residents, who can prove how safe it really is here."

Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival Cruises, recently announced they're canceling or scaling back trips to Mexico from California. Even though the cruises never went to Rosarito, Peon predicts the cutback will hurt the tourism trade there.

"Rosarito is witnessing a domino effect," said Peon. "But the reality is that our town has had the lowest crime rate of all Baja municipalities in more than a decade, proving that it's a safe place to visit."

The Rosarito Beach Hotel has even posted a news story on its website, quoting Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, on the safety of Americans visiting Mexico.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Morehonestpublicservice'

Morehonestpublicservice | January 26, 2011 at 8:50 a.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

Allow foreign ownership of land in Mexico and things will improve. There is and has been a great amount of 'minor' drug related violence in Rosarito and I have witnessed one killing on the street late one night by one Mexican against another who tried to protect a young naive American girl. In any event the large money making enterprises in Mexico are owned by the corrupt and brutally violent cartels so why patronize their peaceful resorts if the money just flows back into their pockets elsewhere? Only if the Mexican government liberalizes foreign property ownership will things improve but until then there are many better places to patronize. How is that for honest public service?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | January 26, 2011 at 9 a.m. ― 3 years, 11 months ago

The cruises are a totally different thing altogether and it does seem alarmist to cut back or cancel. Economically, this hurts both sides. However, Nov 2, Fronterainfo.com reported a US citizen, one "Donalid Johnson," to have been shot and wounded by some gang-banger types in Rosarito. People should always be careful. Especially now. But mostly it's just common sense. Go in pairs or groups, if possible. That said, I've seen many lone, under 40 females crossing back in cars or foot into the US. They are obviously not scared and yet one would think they would make ideal targets for the common criminal.

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Avatar for user 'bcspiders'

bcspiders | January 26, 2011 at 5:40 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

I have traveled the length of the Baja peninsula for about 30 years now. I've gone in groups as well as solo. I drive to get there. I have camped all over and horsepacked in to the northern mountains. Never had a problem. Of course one could instead go to visit Arizona malls.

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Avatar for user 'searching'

searching | February 2, 2011 at 9:06 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Rosarito playa is run by Joaquin Guzman........ El Chapo. That is why they keep the businesses safe.. Go ahead and support the mass murdering thugs.

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Avatar for user 'himachaltourism'

himachaltourism | July 24, 2011 at 11:25 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

This kind of situation is harmful for the tourism of the beache, some proper and strong action should be taken in such a situation.
himachal tourism

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Avatar for user 'mytravel'

mytravel | August 24, 2011 at 11:51 p.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

Very bad news. This will directly effect on the tourism in California. I think there is a need to take some strict action and try to solve this problem any how.
Candolim Beach

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Avatar for user 'livinginbaja'

livinginbaja | December 15, 2011 at 3 p.m. ― 3 years ago

Time for a reality check people! I live in Rosarito Beach and have for two years. I have NEVER had a problem with the cops, NEVER seen a crime occur and NEVER heard of an American who had been harmed here. I was in San Diego last month and on the news in just one night I saw 2 murders, and officer involved shooting in which an unarmed person was killed by a cop, and a rape in which a woman and her boyfriend picked up a woman whose car broke down and the woman raped the victim! To the Idiot who claimes that Rosarito is owned by Chapo Guzman I can only say that stupid people should not have children. And for the other idiot who said that foriegn ownership of land would change everything, got news for you buddy, Americans do own beach front condo's down here. That law changed in 1995! I know this because I am one of 100+ real estate brokers down here who make a living selling condo's to Americans. And the naive American girl you mention? Are you refering to the gringas who come down here and take off their cloths and have sex with each other in front of 1000 people? There is a reason they dont try very hard to bring the spring brakers back. They are not naive, they are easy. Baja is awsome! It is safe as well. And as far as I am concerned, every time one gang banger kills another we should be happy. It makes for a better world. The problem is the American MEDIA, not the people of Baja. Of course, allowing the Government to practice "gun walking" doesnt help.

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