Caution urged for several popular spring destinations
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
It has been a cold and unreasonably long winter. Americans are ready to shed the cumbersome winter layers and head to out picture-perfect destinations to enjoy some sun and sand.
Mexico and the Caribbean are popular choices, but this year they might not enjoy the same patronage from U.S tourists. The U.S. government has issued travel advisories for areas of both destinations. With spring breaks already underway in some areas of the country, this has impacted travel plans in some cases.
A Level 2 travel advisory has been issued for the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos. Americans seeking these sunny beach destinations for spring break may now have to make alternate plans or "exercise increased caution" if their holiday is already booked.
In the Bahamas, armed robberies, burglaries, violent crimes and increasing instances of sexual assault against tourists have necessitated the warnings. Reports of such crimes also include concerns that resorts and related recreational tours do not have security oversight or maintain safety certifications. Additionally, there is the worrisome fact that local criminal investigative capabilities and medical care is limited, which means help in times of emergency may be hard to come by.
The U.S. government also issued a travel warning for Mexico in last November after several deadly clashes in Cancun, but it’s still highly recommended that Americans exercise caution if traveling there in the spring. It is a popular destination for Americans of all ages but more so for college students due to its relative affordability.
The state department issued warnings for all 31 states in Mexico, with five states listed in the "Do Not Travel" category. It is important that travelers read through these warnings in detail before making plans as they will get a better understanding of places to avoid or take extra precautions.
Sinaloa, Guerrero, Colima, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas all have the "Do Not Travel" warnings set against them. The other three travel advisory levels include Level 1, which advises one to exercise reasonable precautions; Level 2 which means to use increased caution; and level 3 which urges one to cancel or reconsider travel.
Americans who are yearning for some exotic international locales may look at growing hot spots like Turkey and Serbia. These seemingly unlikely choices have shown strong growth in 2018 as international travel destinations.
The European Travel Commission reported a 22.3 percent increase in travel footfalls for Turkey, 14.7 percent for Serbia, followed closely by Malta, Montenegro and Latvia. Iceland fever may have cooled down a bit, but it is still a popular choice unless you are not quite ready to go back to anywhere cold.
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