Nearly two weeks after the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert warning tourists to avoid one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations, the agency has lifted all restrictions for Playa del Carmen.
On Friday, Mar. 16, the State Department updated its warning to say that, “Effective immediately, U.S. government personnel are permitted to travel to all parts of Playa del Carmen,” and use all ferry services between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel.
“As noted in our Mexico Travel Advisory for the state of Quintana Roo, U.S. citizens should exercise increased caution due to crime,” the advisory continued, noting however that most violent crimes in and around the region are targeted within criminal organizations.
The initial advisory warned travelers not to visit the destination, following an explosion on a Playa del Carmen-Cozumel ferry that injured more than two dozen people, including several Americans.
Many local residents, including American and Canadian expats, disputed the notion that Playa del Carmen and its surroundings are any more dangerous than most major U.S. cities. The State Department narrowed the restrictions to only certain neighborhoods in the region.
Meanwhile, on Facebook, some travel agents reported clients demonstrating concern about future trips to Playa del Carmen and its surrounding tourist areas as a result of the State Department advisories, while more experienced travelers and agents countered those opinions noting their frequency of travel to the destination, with no incidents.
Finally, last Friday, the State Department issued its return to normal travel notice.