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CDC, State Department Downgrade Travel Warning to Mexico

May 18, 2009


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted its travel warning on Friday against nonessential travel to Mexico due to the H1N1 influenza outbreak. Following this announcement, the U.S. Department of State also lifted its travel alert. The CDC stated that the warning was downgraded to a "travel health precaution," which is directed at those who are at high risk of complications due to any kind of influenza.

"Mexico’s government and tourism authorities are very satisfied with the decision taken by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and consequently, the U.S. Department of State, to lift the H1N1 influenza alert against nonessential travel to Mexico," said Rodolfo Elizondo, Mexico’s minister of tourism. "Our main priority continues to be the safety of our citizens and visitors, and with evidence that the flu appears to be less threatening than originally thought, Mexico is ready to welcome back all of its visitors and offer them the hospitality and services that have always distinguished us."

Dr. Peter Tarlow, who will speak at the 2009 NTA Spring Meet, recently offered his thoughts on the H1N1 flu in a special edition of his "Tourism Tidbits" newsletter. The noted risk management specialist and economist talked about the major impact – both perceived and real – that H1N1 is having on the travel and tourism industry.

In his opening recap, Tarlow wrote, "Mixed messages have added to a sense of confusion and to the public’s lack of trust." The newsletter also includes his list of 10 things travel companies can learn from H1N1, such as "obtain and provide the most accurate information possible" and "be well aware that the media may use forms of hyperbole when reporting on illnesses." To see the full text of the newsletter, click here.

NTA also has been working closely with the Mexico Tourism Board to stay current on the N1H1 situation, especially as it pertains to travel. The MTB’s special Web page,, includes regular updates from health officials, a consumer tips newsletter and briefings on what the Mexican government is doing.

Here are some additional resources to help you stay informed on the latest developments:

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