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Tourism At Baja Beaches Hurting Despite Being Safe

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

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.

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