1. Travel and Living

Stamp Of Approval For Mexico

Making it easier to travel Covid-safely.  

The coronavirus brought tourism to a standstill. Now that travel is very slowly restarting, the virus is bringing questions about safety protocols and standards. But how do you know what’s safe, what protocols are followed, and who approved them? The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is trying to make deciphering protocols and standards easier, with Mexico among the first to jump on board. Once the U.S. State Department and CDC give the green light to travel, the WTTC’s initiative should help make it easier to choose your destination with confidence. 

The WTTC Safe Travels Stamp 

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), is a U.K.-based non-profit that aims to ensure a “seamless, secure, safe, inclusive and sustainable” travel and tourism sector. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the WTTC created a set of common standards and rules to help ensure the safety of both travelers and those that work in the industry. Their evergreen protocols are aligned with the guidelines of the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and supported by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. The protocols will be continually updated as scientists learn more about the novel coronavirus that’s infecting millions around the globe. 

With their new Safe Travels Stamp, the Council’s goal is to “re-establish worldwide consumer confidence in travel and tourism,” said WTTC president and CEO Gloria Guevara in a statement. To receive the Safe Travels Stamp, the WTTC validates destinations’ and tourism businesses’ Covid-19 protocols and, in turn, they pledge to continue compliance, even as protocols are updated. The WTTC has established general protocols as well as ones for hospitality businesses, airports, aviation, attractions, tour operators, short-term accommodation rentals, car rentals, outdoor shopping, conventions and events. 


First in the Americas 

One of Mexico’s most popular destinations, the Mexican Caribbean, “became the first destination in the American continent to receive [the stamp],” says Quintana Roo’s tourism board director Dario Flota. As he explains, “this certification program … aims to maintain the highest sanitary measures for the prevention and containment of Covid-19 and generates confidence among travelers, partners and the community.”

Travelers can rest easier knowing that approved standards are in place, without feeling the need to research how the protocols of individual jurisdictions and businesses differ from each other. 


Travel to Mexico during the coronavirus 

While the land border between the U.S. and Mexico remains closed, Mexico welcomes travelers to fly to many of its top tourist destinations (though the U.S. State Department’s global health advisory remains at “level 4: do not travel”). Several locations have been granted the Global Safety Safe Travels Stamp and each is reopening in a phased approach on its own schedule. Mexican destinations with the Safe Travels Stamp include:

Baja California Sur: The southern part of the Baja peninsula opened June 15. At the southernmost tip of the peninsula—where the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez meet—is the Los Cabos area which includes the city of Cabo San Lucas as well as more isolated beaches and resort areas. Two hours north, along the Sea of Cortez, is La Paz, known for its sea life and Caribbean-like beaches. Further north is Loreto, the peninsula’s first Spanish settlement and a whale watching hub. 

Caribe Mexicano: The Mexican Caribbean reopened for tourism as of June 8. The area encompasses the state of Quintana Roo stretching from the island of Holbox in the north down past Chetumal in the south. The Mexican Caribbean includes these popular destinations: 

  • Cancun: The area’s biggest city with resorts in both El Centro and along the white-sand beach of Zona Hotelera.
  • Cozumel: the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean, currently without the 70,000 to 80,000 cruise ship passengers that normally arrive in a high-season week.
  • Riviera Maya: the 120-mile stretch of white sandy beaches south of Cancun starting near Puerto Morelos and down the coast past Tulum, including the beachside city of Playa del Carmen, known for its shopping and dining scene. 

Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende: Called the “Heart of Mexico,” with its UNESCO World Heritage historic center, San Miguel de Allende is open to visitors as of July 15. One place to stay is spacious Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende on the edge of town, within walking distance of the city’s pink “wedding cake” church. The resort features a long pool above a dry river bed and several places for open-air dining.  

Jalisco: Most travelers arrive in the state of Jalisco, known as the birthplace of tequila, via the airports in Puerto Vallarta or Guadalajara, the state capital. The state reopened to tourism on June 15.

Riviera Nayarit: Just 10 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta airport is the state of Nayarit, which reopened June 15. The Riviera Nayarit sits between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre mountains. Popular destinations include Banderas Bay, where humpback whales come to give birth, the Marieta Islands, and the beach towns of Nuevo Vallarta and Sayulita.  

Yucatan: This state, just north of Cancun, is known as the “gateway to the Mayan world.” Highlights include the UNESCO World Heritage site Chichén Itzá and the town of Mérida.  

Mexico is getting ready to welcome travelers back safely.

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