This article was updated on August 4, 2017
ASTA, AMResorts and Apple Vacations on Friday issued advice for travel agents regarding the allegations of tainted alcohol at popular resorts in Mexico, following the death of a 20-year-old tourist staying at the Iberostar Hotel & Resorts' Paraiso del Mar.
ASTA sent a Member Alert with tips on how to respond; an ASTA spokesperson noted that Member Alerts are copyright information received as a benefit of ASTA membership.
But ASTA did send TMR the following statement:
"We encourage travelers to consult with their trusted advisor, a professional who is equipped and trained to provide the individual support and guidance to help travelers make decisions about travel plans. They receive up-to-date resources from ASTA (who consults frequently with the State Department and other governmental entities) and other industry organizations, which they use to educate their clients. But ultimately the decision to travel or not to travel to a particular destination is up to the individual travelers, as each individual has his or her own level of risk tolerance."
In a letter to its travel partners, meanwhile, AMResorts president Gonzalo del Peon assured that the resort chain follows strict policies and procedures to safeguard all food and beverage products, including alcohol. “All alcohol is purchased from approved, licensed and bonded vendors that meet all standards required by the designated regulatory authorities,” the letter said.
Apple Vacations said it will increase its efforts to ensure the resorts it works with are complying with alcohol procurement and other federal regulations, as well as push for hotels and resorts to install cameras in key public areas such as swimming pools and bars.
The president of Mexico’s health commission, Sen. Salvador López Brito, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the legislature is working on an “initiative to improve the controls and inspections for tainted alcohol at resorts,” and plans will be introduced in September. The paper reported more than a dozen cases of travelers getting sick or blacking out while staying at Mexican resorts.