USA slaps major Mexican tourist spot with travel alerts

Resort hotels, tourist shops and restaurants in the entertainment district of Playa del Carmen in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.

A major tourist destination in Mexico has been hit with travel warning from the USA amid fears of an “ongoing security threat”.

Playa del Carmen, an area on Mexico’s Caribbean coast which is frequented by millions each year, is facing a number of travel restrictions for five of its suburbs and neighbourhoods in and around the tourist zone.

These restrictions have actually been revised since last week when most of the coastal town faced travel restrictions.

The US embassy has said employee travel is now permitted to “to resort areas in Riviera Maya including those near Playa del Carmen that are outside the restricted neighborhoods.”

After the first wave of restrictions from the US embassy, the Mexican government defended Playa del Carmen, as they were apparently concerned about a potential decline in tourism numbers ahead of the upcoming Easter break.

The cause of concern for the US is the threat of drug and gang violence in the Quintana Roo area.

This also includes beach resort towns like Cancun and Tulum.

As well as this, a recent explosion on a ferry in the area which injured 26 people including several Americans, has caused the US to slap Mexico with the travel restrictions.

According to CBS News Travel editor Peter Greenberg, the number of foreign visitors frequenting the beach towns has been steadily increasing in recent years and the likelihood of a traveller being impacted by drug violence is minimal.

“Every time the United States issues a travel advisory, it’s got such a negative connotation, there’s an almost immediate knee-jerk reaction from people to cancel,” Greenberg said.

“But in terms of Americans being targeted for violent crime, it doesn’t really exist.”

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