Mexico Tourism Official Says Country Safe for Travelers

Tourism secretary says Texas travel warning sent out because of "political reason"

By Omar Villafranca
|  Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012  |  Updated 12:31 AM CDT
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Mexico's secretary of tourism says more than 23 million international visitors stayed at least one night in Mexico.

Omar Villafranca, NBC 5 News

Mexico's secretary of tourism says more than 23 million international visitors stayed at least one night in Mexico.

Despite a drug war that has claimed tens of thousands of lives in Mexico, tourism is on the rise south of the border, Mexican officials say.

Gloria Guevara, Mexico's secretary of tourism, stopped in Dallas on Monday to try and keep the positive trend going.

She said more than 23 million international visitors stayed at least one night in Mexico, a country known for its beach resorts, food, ancient temples and inexpensiveness.

"Twenty-three million people cannot be wrong. That's a lot of people to be wrong," she said.

Guevara said the steady increase in international travelers to Mexico is proof that the country is shedding its violent image.

She said the numbers are going up thanks in part to an agreement by the Mexican government to make travel areas safe for tourists.

But the headlines aren't just filled with sunny news.

Mexico's drug violence has been well documented. The violence even prompted travel warnings from the U.S. State Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Guevara told NBC 5 that while her country has its challenges, she believes the travel warning issued by Texas leaders was sent out because of a "political reason."

"Just putting very general things is, I think, a little irresponsible," she said. "You cannot paint the country with one brush. Unfortunately, the travel alert that you're referring to was doing exactly that."

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