San Diego tour companies not worried about Mexico travel warning

No plans to cancel trips or alter itineraries
Posted at 6:04 AM, Aug 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 14:00:58-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Tour companies across San Diego say this week's travel warning from the U.S. State Department won't affect their trips.

American citizens are being warned to be wary of certain areas in Mexico where crime is on the rise. Those areas include Baja, a popular destination for day trips from San Diego.

"You [have to] take it with a grain of salt," said Myron Stam, owner of Day Tripper Tours in El Cajon.

Stam's company has a trip planned to Puerto Nueva this weekend, and it's sold out.

RELATED: State Department warns U.S. travelers about crime in Mexico

"It's like going to Chicago," he said. "We don't cancel our tours to Chicago every time something goes on, some kind of crime."

The State Department's warning says homicides in northern Baja are up compared to the same time period in 2016. It also says shootouts between criminal organizations can happen in broad daylight.

Stam said he's been sending tourists to Baja for almost 30 years, and they've never experienced or witnessed any kind of violence like that.

Stam told 10News his trips are on safe motor coaches, with experienced drivers. They stay on main roads and only go to popular tourist spots, and all of their excursions have escorts.

RELATED: Alcohol warning for travelers going to Mexico

Alfonso Hernandez with Five Star Tours said warnings like this one can hurt his business, but he won't cancel any trips.

"We do 12 trips per week to Baja," Hernandez said. "Safety is the number one question we get asked by customers."

Hernandez said his company gives local emergency numbers to all of their customers, and he also tells them that 911 will work in Mexico. They also have a contingency plan in place in case something happens.

"The first thing we'd do is make sure everyone is OK," he said. "The next thing we'd do is return to the U.S. immediately."

For Stam's company, they stress common sense to their customers.

"We could either succumb to the fear or we could continue doing what we do and just be mindful of our surroundings, like we would in any city."