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Travel Industry Executives Unite for Common Cause: Getting the Facts Straight About the Mexico Travel Alert

Travel Industry Executives Unite for Common Cause: Getting the Facts Straight About the Mexico Travel Alert

MILWAUKEE, March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- On Thursday, March 12, 2009, Travel Weekly, the national newspaper of the travel industry, hosted a topical virtual forum presented by Funjet Vacations and Travel Impressions. The 35 minute Webcast was held exclusively for travel agents and addressed travel agent and consumer concerns and their misconceptions about the Mexico Travel Alert and drug violence in Mexico. Travel Weekly Editor in Chief Arnie Weissmann moderated the panel, which included Mike Going, president of Funjet Vacations; Steve Gorga, president of Travel Impressions; Mandy Chomat, vice president of sales and marketing for Karisma Hotels & Resorts; Carlos Behnsen, executive director of the Mexico Tourism Board; and Sal Ramos vice president of sales and marketing at Marival Resorts & Suites.


"The U.S. Department of State's Mexico Travel Alert has been broadly misinterpreted. The misinterpretation of the alert, not the actual violence in U.S./Mexico border towns, is what is affecting tourism to Mexico," said Mike Going President of Funjet Vacations during yesterday's discussion. "The intent of the alert is to advise travelers to use common sense precautions when in Mexico; it does not discourage people from vacationing in the destination."


The U.S. State Department reassured on Friday, March 6, 2009, that despite previous warnings of Mexico's ongoing drug violence, much of the country remains unscathed by running battles between security forces and rival drug cartels. Spokesman Gordon Duguid said violent activities are relatively confined. "We notice that many of the violent activities are localized in several different places. They are not general across the north of Mexico, let alone through... the entire country," he said.


The panelists agreed that the concentration of violence in Mexico is hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of miles from main tourist destinations and that Mexico continues to be a fun, safe and amazing place to go on vacation. Although the success of Funjet Vacations' business relies on sending thousands of Americans to Mexico each year, Going stated that "We all have commercial interests, but this panel is representative and reflective of an industry that puts customer safety ahead of the bottom line."

Published Thursday, March 19, 2009 3:46 PM by Kanoa Biondolillo


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