When it comes to safety and security in Mexico, travelers’ perceptions often don’t match reality. That’s an issue that YesToMexico, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that launched in November 2018, aims to resolve.
“Sitting idle as portrayals cast a false sense of fear among current and future visitors to Mexico is no longer an option,” said Tom Brussow, president of YesToMexico and president of Sunsational Vacation Marketing. “Our organization wants to work to ensure that positive growth in tourism to Mexico continues, unimpeded by out-of-context reports.”
Brussow is one of five board members at the organization, all of whom are veterans of the travel industry with extensive experience visiting and selling Mexico. The others are Kate Murphy, president of Wings Travel Group; Sandra Lovick, CEO of Travel Leaders – Market Square; Sarah Kline, president of Time for Travel; and Shawn Warmstein, vice president of Rbb Communications. ”
Sitting idle as portrayals cast a false sense of fear among current and future visitors to Mexico is no longer an option.”
The organization is using facts to promote a more positive perception, according to Brussow.
“YesToMexico aims to combat the sensationalist headlines about Mexico and balance the conversation by sharing fact-based information and personal knowledge about travel to the country,” he said. “There’s a reason Mexico has been ranked as the friendliest in the world, and visitors overwhelmingly feel the destination exceeds expectations — 94 percent of visitors to be exact.”
A multifaceted strategy will drive the organization’s goals forward, he added.
“YesToMexico looks to educate travel advisors, hotel industry professionals and consumers through a proactive response to sensational reports as well as prepared materials that help dispel and tackle myths,” he said.
Thus far, the organization has created a website to serve as a resource for future proactive communications. The website is colorful, straightforward and positive in its approach to security and safety issues, with easy access to information and the opportunity for visitors to sign up to receive email updates.
“We have a fact sheet on the destination and are working on creating a guide for answering tough client questions, and a map that shows Mexico’s vacation hot spots and their distance from areas that are drawing the negative headlines, Brussow said.
“YesToMexico aims to combat the sensationalist headlines about Mexico and balance the conversation by sharing fact-based information and personal knowledge about travel to the country.”
Brussow hopes that the organization’s efforts will arm travel advisors with tools to correct traveler misconceptions about Mexico.
“Public perception is disconnected from reality,” he said. “While we are not denying Mexico has seen an increase in crime, its impact in tourist areas has been misrepresented. And many who have visited Mexico have a very different experience than the picture being painted.”
Indeed, facts are on the side of people who support tourism in Mexico.
“There is no rampant violence impacting tourist areas,” Brussow said. “Mexico is safe and friendly. For example, these areas have the same travel warning level from the U.S. State Department as the U.K. and Italy. Yet, where are the headlines urging U.S. travelers to steer clear of those countries? Also, there has been extensive media reporting claiming American tourists have been served ‘tainted’ alcohol. Yet, not one proven case of a resort serving tainted alcohol has been recorded.”
Brussow said that YesToMexico is prepared to deal with negative news coverage as it appears.
“If something unfortunate does indeed occur in Mexico, it should be reported,” he said. “But our organization is here to provide context, whether that be publishing something on our website, authoring an article or op-ed or directly reaching out to media.”
Source: TravelAge West published 3/04/2018. Link to article