Despite Warnings, Mexico Lures in Spring Break Travelers

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Despite warnings from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the U.S. State Department regarding drug-related violence, Mexico remains a hot spot for spring break this year.

According to a report by Budget Travel, Funjet Vacations has seen a 15% increase in spring breakers headed to Mexico this March compared to last year, while StudentUniverse.com says Cancun climbed the ranks to the second most popular international spring break destination from spot number five in 2010. As for STA Travel, Cancun ranked just behind London and Paris as the third most popular destination.

"Cancun is still in the third spot, which isn't really suprising to us. It's a very safe destination," Patrick Evans of STA Travel tells Budget Travel. Evans also pointed out the fact that STA Travel has discontinued itineraries that include border towns.

Earlier this month, the Texas Department of Public safety issued a warning that urged students to remain on the U.S. side of the border and to stay away from popular resort destinations in Mexico.

"Out safety message is simple: avoid traveling to Mexico during Spring Break and stay alive," warned Public Safety Director Steven McCraw.

Yesterday, the Mexico Tourism Board shot back with a statement of their own, insisting, "Mexican tourist destinations are very safe."

"There could be no better time to visit Mexico," reads the statement, which notes more than 22 million foreigners came to the country last year. According to the board, there was a 12% increase in the number of people flying out of Texas into Mexico in December 2010 over the same time period last year, making it the "best month regarding the volume of people on flights over the last decade."

The warning issued by the U.S. State Department for Mexico reads, "While most victims of violence are Mexican citizens associated with criminal activity, the security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well."

"Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year. This includes tens of thousands who cross the border every day for study, tourism or business and at least one million U.S. citizens who live in Mexico."

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