By Jayne Clark, USA TODAY
Despite tales of drug violence, visitation to Mexico was up almost 19% over last year, as of September. And with 22.6 million tourists expected by year’s end, numbers will about equal the record-breaking totals in 2008. About 80% of visitors are North American.
In fact, slightly more foreigners are vacationing in Mexico now than before the drug wars, which have killed about 30,000 (mostly drug traffickers) in the past four years, The Economist reported in November. Mexico now ranks No. 10 in international arrivals worldwide.
I’m just back from San Miguel de Allende, a gorgeous colonial city in central Mexico (read about it Friday at usatoday.com/travel), where, not surprisingly, more than one conversation during my visit turned toward security concerns.
But not the sort of concerns you might think. The Americans I spoke with there were worried about the bum rap they believe the entire country is getting due to drug violence that , for the most part, is concentrated hundreds of miles away near the U.S. border. (more…)