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Cruises avoiding Mazatlan because of crime

Some cruise ships are canceling stops in the Mexican Pacific port of Mazatlan and others are considering it due to crime against tourists. Disney Wonder has dropped calls to Mazatlan from its Mexican Riviera tour and replaced them with an additional stop in Cabo San Lucas. Holland America Line replaced a Jan. 26 Mazatlan port call with one in Manzanillo. A Carnival Cruise spokesman said the company is deciding whether its ship Spirit will make a stop in Mazatlan this week.

UPDATE:   So the Mazatlan tourism folks caught wind of this post and sent along the following damage control. Naturally, tourism is important to these folks, and they're none too happy with the crime-ridden reputation. Here's the statement:

"Mazatlan tourism officials are concerned and disappointed by this week’s announcement by several cruise lines, including Disney, Holland America and Princess, to temporarily exclude the highly popular Mexican travel destination from their itineraries.

"According to Julio Birrueta, spokesperson for the Mazatlan Tourism Trust, 'We highly value our long-standing relationships within the cruise industry, and are dedicated to ensuring that Mazatlan remains among the top cruise destinations on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Mazatlan has hosted nearly 1.5 million cruise passengers since 2008 and is widely regarded as one of the safest destinations in Mexico.'

"Tourism and port officials have been told that the itinerary changes are the result of increased security concerns. However, specific incidents that prompted these actions appear limited to three cases of stolen property.

"According to Mazatlan Chief of Police Victor Zatarain, 'The safety of our visitors and their property is our top priority, and while even one minor crime is sufficient for concern, it is important to note that in all three of these incidents the robbers were apprehended immediately and justice is being served.'
           
"Tomorrow, high-ranking state and local government and law enforcement officials, as well as tourism and port authority executives are meeting with cruise industry leaders to outline the intensive measures that have been taken to ensure the safety of cruise passengers visiting the area.

On Monday, Mexico Minister of Tourism Gloria Guevara Manzo and Gov. Mario Lopez Valdez, accompanied by local and state tourism leaders, will meet with executives from the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) to further outline the destination’s commitment to ensuring the safety of cruise passengers visiting Mazatlan and all other Mexican ports of call.

According to Birrueta, Mazatlan is widely regarded as one of the safest destinations in Mexico, legendary for its history, culture and the warm hospitality of its people.

He concludes, 'Tourism is very important to Mazatlan and its residents. The destination plays host to nearly 2 million visitors per year from all over the world and the number has increased steadily for the past five years. Additionally, nearly 9,000 U.S. and Canadian citizens have made Mazatlan their permanent or seasonal home and find Mazatlan a safe, warm and welcoming destination in which their comfort and security is, as always, top priority.'"

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