Friday, January 22, 2016

The City of Puerto Vallarta is Not Included In the Updated US and Canadian Travel Warnings To Mexico


The January 19th update to the US Department's and the Canadian Foreign Affairs Department’s Travel Warning to Mexico do not include the international resort city of Puerto Vallarta. Both warnings highlight that Puerto Vallarta is a major travel destination in the state of Jalisco and do not indicate the need for caution or recommend against travel to the city of Puerto Vallarta.

The areas of Jalisco that are included in the warning are on the border with Michoacán and Zacatecas, some 250 miles, or a 4-hour drive, from Puerto Vallarta. This is a distance similar to New York to Boston, Los Angeles to Las Vegas or Toronto to Ottawa.

The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board proactively monitors the destination’s security and regularly contracts international firms that specialize in tourism security to conduct assessments of the city and its many attractions and services. Assessments completed in 2011 and 2012 by Thomas Dale & Associates, and in 2014 and 2015 by Tourism & More, found that Puerto Vallarta continues to offer a safe and friendly small-town feel for both its visitors and local residents.

Thomas Dale and Associates found that Puerto Vallarta is an extremely safe destination and Tourism & More reported, that Puerto Vallarta provides its visitors, locals and extensive North American expat populations a safe setting where people feel comfortable walking around town without perceived threat or fear. Puerto Vallarta is a place where visitors can safely enjoy evening strolls, shopping, dining and entertainment.

Puerto Vallarta will continue to invest in its infrastructure and services to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors. The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board maintains a collaborative relationship and open communications with US and Canadian government entities in Mexico and keeps them informed regarding tourism security on a regular basis.

Voted Mexico’s “Friendliest City” by the readers of Travel + Leisure in 2015, Puerto Vallarta closed a record year with a reported average of 65% occupancy throughout 2015. Almost 2.5 million US and Canadian visitors traveled to Puerto Vallarta by air and land and 3.5 million visited as cruise passengers. Its best performance since 2008.

The city’s meetings, conference and events industry saw a 200% increase with 59 international events taking place across the city.

The destination also reported record year in investment from the private sector with five new hotel openings, 4 new direct flights from the US, 3 meeting and events spaces and major renovations to its international airport (PVR), cruise port and Downtown Zone.

Puerto Vallarta is one of the most acclaimed destinations in Mexico and continually receives accolades from the media and visitors alike. TripAdvisor’s consumer base of more than 2 million placed it at #2 in the overall best Mexican destination for the 2015 Traveler’s Choice Award (for the 3rd year in a row); Live and Invest Overseas’ Kathleen Peddicord has included Puerto Vallarta in her yearly “Best Places to Retire” list for the past 4 years; and US News & World Report selected Puerto Vallarta as the "#2 Best Place to Visit in Mexico” #3 “Best Beaches in Mexico” and #4 “Best Spring Break Destination" this month.

What the warnings state.

The US State Department 
“Jalisco: Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, and Lake Chapala are major cities/travel destinations in Jalisco – Exercise caution throughout the state, particularly in rural areas and when using secondary highways. Defer non-essential travel to areas of the state that border the states of Michoacán and Zacatecas. The security situation along the Michoacán and Zacatecas borders continues to be unstable. U.S. government personnel are authorized to use Federal toll road 15D for travel to Mexico City; however, they may not stop in the town of La Barca or Ocotlan for any reason. Use of Highway 80 between Cocula and La Huerta is prohibited for personal travel by U.S. government personnel. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from personal travel to areas of Jalisco that border Zacatecas, and are prohibited from intercity travel at night. Please see above for general conditions for travel to Mexico.”

Canadian Government
“avoid non-essential travel to the areas of Jalisco that border the states of Michoacán and Zacatecas.”

About the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board:  Puerto Vallarta’s Tourism Board is a non-profit organization in charge of promoting the destination as a tourism destination internationally. It works with PR and Advertising agencies to promote the destination’s information in Canada, USA, the Mexican market and the emerging markets in the rest of the world, such as Europe and South America.
About Puerto Vallarta: Located in the state of Jalisco, it is well known for the preservation of its authentic Mexican traditions, the Puerto Vallarta area features 40 miles of coastline and a diverse topography, including tropical jungles, rocky river beds, steep mountain sides and arid flatland. Each region brings a uniqueness that adds to the entire charm of Puerto Vallarta.  The historic downtown area is a delightful collection of white walled houses, wrought-iron balconies, red-tiled roofs and cobble stoned streets. In addition to its long stretch of sunny, picturesque beaches, Puerto Vallarta’s authentic Mexican flavor proves a big draw for most North American visitors. The town’s main square and Malecon come alive on weekends with live music, local families strolling, artists, mimes, and diverse cultural entertainment. 

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