18 January 2007
Oaxaca no longer off limits - for some
The U.S. State Department rescinded its travel advisory for Oaxaca yesterday, but the Canadian government still says its citizens shouldn't go to the southern Mexican state - scene of a nasty teachers' strike that descended into open revolt against the local PRI governor. The Canadians at least acknowledge, "The situation is showing signs of improvement."
Headlines of a 19-year-old Canadian traveler in Acapulco meeting an untimely end on Jan. 7 generated endless headlines in Canada and promoted no shortage of calls for a blanket advisory cautioning against Mexican travel. Perhaps that explains the Canadians' tepidness in lifting its Oaxaca advisory. But Adam DePrisco was struck by a vehicle, according to autopsies performed in both Canada and Mexico. It was most likely a hit-and-run collision, although his family alleges murder.
The two situations shouldn't be linked in any way. I've booked my ticket for Oaxaca - just 2,150 pesos round trip from Guadalajara on Avolar - and I suspect others will follow suit. The state could use the boost and it's not to be missed - even if the Canadian government can't get its act together and scrap the travel advisory.
*For a telling statistic on how bad the tourism economy in Oaxaca is, look at these stats from the local airport operator, which saw a 32.6 percent fewer passengers in Dec. 2006 than in Dec. 2005.
Posted by David Agren at 23:54
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The local airport only saw a 32.6 percent decrease in passengers in December 2006 (compared to 2005)? I thought it would have been higher.
That said, things are looking up in late January. Intrepid snowbirds are returning and no doubt word of mouth will lead to a return of tourism. That said, most Oaxacans don't believe things will be the same. "After all that's happened, things will be different," one friend told me.
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