As regular followers of HolidayTravelWatch will note, we have for sometime commented on the holiday complaints that arise from what we define as 'Risk Destinations'. Such destinations as defined by us, are areas affected by natural or man-made disasters which are potentially unsafe, threatens the viability of a holiday contract and also possibly negates any travel insurance (subject to any view that is expressed otherwise by your travel insurance provider). Such a situation in our view, gives rise to the important issue of 'significant change' to your holiday contract under the Package Travel Regulations. Already this year we have witnessed the seismic events of Egypt & Tunisia and the effect that it continues to have on tourism. By the end of the year, we will perhaps find ourselves commenting on the Atlantic Hurricane Season and the effect it has had on Caribbean/US tourism, the sales of holidays and a whole new raft of holiday complaints!
Consider then the problems facing Mexico at this time and note how little is actually reported on UK media channels! As you can see from this Al-Jazeera page there are clearly major issues facing this fascinating country! It describes its series of reports as 'Mexico of the Brink' - the brink of what? The issues rehearsed on the Al-Jazeera pages, demonstrate an increasing lawlessness and a drug war that is rapidly eating at the edge of Mexican civilised society.
This report highlights how one cruise company has decided to pull out of Puerta Vallarta as a result of the escalating problems! Note within the report how cruise lines have pulled out of other cruise ports and indeed those interviewed set out the fact that an earlier cruise stop had been scrubbed from the itinerary!
I just love the comments made by various parties that the crime wave was worse in New York City, but you wouldn't cancel your trips to the United States! Perhaps this is a fair point, but I think there is a difference between domestic criminality and a criminality that has gone so far that it affects the very operation of the State.
This sounds serious!
So what of the various travel advices? Well, the UK Foreign Office provides a clinical overview of the problems, but when you read of violence, robberies at ATM's, bus-jackings, and a 'high level of drug related violence and criminal activity' you begin to wonder if you have made the right choice! Did you read that in the glossy brochure? How about it UK tour operators who extensively advertise via Google - do you have these warnings in your brochures?
Now consider the warnings given by the US State Department! Plenty of detail in there - I think we can safely assume that there is a problem down there in Mexico!
Like I have said on many occasions (Sri Lanka, Kenya, Egypt, Tunisia), I have every sympathy for the people of those countries affected by these events, but sometimes the people of those countries need the time to concentrate on resolving their problems without the distraction of tourists! Equally, holidaymakers should not be used as foot-soldiers to advance a social or trading policy of their home state!
If you find you are caught up in these problems, then the links I have provided will help you initially with your Consumer Rights!
If you have been affected by any issues in this article, then contact HolidayTravelWatch.
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