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Mexico Tourism Suffers as Drug Gangs Rain on Spring Break Party

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Thomas Black and Andres R. Martinez
Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Mexican tourism revenue may decline for a second year as violent clashes between drug gangs and a weak U.S. job market threaten to spoil its spring break party.

Cancun and Acapulco hotels are seeing a smaller-than-normal influx of college-age revelers this month after recent reports of bloodshed, tour operators there said. Acapulco’s tourism marketing agency predicts the number of spring breakers will drop 30 percent this year to 17,500, said Piquis Rochin, director of international promotions for the organization.

“The economic crisis is still hurting us a little bit, and we’ve been affected by so much news about violence in Mexico,” Rochin said in a telephone interview from Acapulco.

Mexico’s push to draw tourists, the third-biggest source of dollar inflows after oil and remittances, is getting harder as violence connected to drug trafficking persists. Mexico’s international tourism fell for the first time in a decade last year amid a weak economy and a swine-flu scare, bringing in $11.3 billion compared with $13.3 billion in 2008.

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This article was posted: Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 4:08 am

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