You might be hard-pressed to find the word “Mexico” in some of the advertising for tourist resorts in Mexico. Brands like “Riviera Maya” often eclipse the name of the country where those lush beaches are located. As deadly violence that has haunted Mexico for years threatens tourist zones, government officials and trade executives are scrambling for ways to minimize damage to an industry that is a top income-earner and employer.
The rapes last week of six Spanish women vacationing in Acapulco have heightened fear and called into question the government’s ability to control crime and attract foreign visitors. It didn’t help that about the same time, Mexico’s minister of tourism was in, of all places, Spain, attempting to promote tourism. “This is Mexico’s moment,” was her theme.