MEXICO CITY -- The increase in violence and the lack of security in Mexico in 2008 resulted in at least seven tourist destinations registering an average decline of 10 percent in arrivals, the daily Reforma reported Wednesday.
In remarks to the newspaper, the president of the Mexican Association of Hotels and Motels, Rafael Armendariz, said that the cities of Ensenada, Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Morelia, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Culiacan and Nuevo Laredo were the ones that suffered most from the consequences of the lack of security.
Specifically, Ensenada, Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez - all near the U.S. border - were the most affected, with declines in the numbers of tourists visiting them of between 13 and 21 percent, according to Tourism Secretariat figures cited by Armendariz
In all, the seven cities mentioned received around 580,000 fewer visitors during 2008 than was predicted, including Mexicans and foreigners.
In 2008, a large number of violent incidents linked to organized crime occurred in cities such as Juarez and Tijuana.
According to data compiled by the National Human Rights Commission, between January and Dec. 1, 2008 there were 5,585 homicides linked to organized crime in Mexico, more than double the number in 2007. EFE