The U.S. Department of State toughened its travel alert for Acapulco, a port in the Mexican Pacific coast state of Guerrero which the agency said has been Mexico’s most violent city for the past three years.
The new warning, which was issued Friday and replaces the one from January 19, 2016, prohibits U.S. Government personnel from traveling to the state of Guerrero, including Acapulco, a major tourist destination.
The only exception to the new travel rule for Guerrero is Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, a tourist resort 152 miles northwest of Acapulco, where American diplomats nevertheless are advised to exercise caution and remain in tourist areas.
While the travel warning for parts of Guerrero, one of Mexico’s poorest states, has been in effect for several years, this is the first time Acapulco—not long ago a favorite destination for celebrities, foreign leaders and American honeymooners–has been included in the ban.
In a statement Friday, Mexico’s Foreign Ministry acknowledged the legal requirements of the U.S. and other countries to issue travel warnings. In 2015, a total of 20 million Americans visited Mexico via all forms of transport, of this 8.4 million American tourists traveled to Mexico by plane, a 17% increase over 2014, the Foreign Ministry said.