Great news for the tourist industry in the Riviera Maya. The U.S. Department of State cancelled their travel advisory and restrictions for Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The previous advisory had prohibited U.S. government personnel from using the ferries and going to specified areas of the city.
The travel advisory on the Department of State’s website now reads:
“There are no restrictions on U.S. government employees for travel in Quintana Roo state, which includes tourist areas such as: Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and the Riviera Maya.”
In Case You Missed It
There were actually two parts to the original advisory and the Department of State reported that they were not related. Here’s a quick breakdown for those of you who are just tuning in:
The warning related to the ferries was prompted by an explosion on a ferry owned by Barcos Caribe and the subsequent discovery of an additional explosive device placed on another vessel belonging to the same company.
Security at the ferries has been substantially increased (I’ll be doing a future post on this topic) and the investigation into the incident has ruled out terrorism or the involvement of organized crime.
If you want to read more about the ferry investigation, check out A Former Cop’s Perspective on the Ferry Explosion in Playa del Carmen.
The second travel advisory was very vague and cited an “unspecified security threat.” The cryptic warning was accompanied by the temporary closing of the U.S. consular agency in Playa del Carmen.
Even though there is no longer a threat, the U.S. still hasn’t shared any additional information with the public.
Personally, I found it interesting that the timing of the warning and the closing of the U.S. consular agency coincided with a visit to Playa del Carmen by President Enrique Peña Nieto. The Monday following his visit, the consular agency was reopened.
I’m not claiming that the security threat involved the president’s visit, I’m just saying that the timing of the whole thing was “interesting”.
Let’s Wrap This Up
In light of the former advisory, many of the cruise lines that visit Cozumel have advised their passengers not to take the ferries to the mainland. This has definitely had a negative impact on businesses that rely on the daily influx of thousands of cruise passengers to make a living. Now that the U.S. has cancelled their advisory, I hope that the cruise ship companies will soon follow suit.