By Kayla Lewis
While Canadian authorities debate slapping travel advisories on regions of Mexico in light of the recent deaths and injuries of Canadian tourists, students at Ryerson are still clinging to their reading week plans for a relaxing vacation in the tourist hot spot.
Last Saturday, two Canadians from Niagara Falls and Welland, Ontario were shot in their Acapulco hotel in what is believed to be a drive-by shooting.
The January deaths of Woodbridge teen Adam DePrisco and London man Cliff Glasier made headlines nearly a year after the killings of Domenic and Nancy Ianiero.
Though students have been provided lots of grisly imagery about the dangers of traveling to Mexico, their minds haven’t changed. In fact, sales for tickets to Mexico remain unchanged.
“Sales have not been affected (negatively) one bit,” said Hillary Owen, the manager of Travel Cuts on campus. Customers have not mentioned the recent deaths nor voiced concerns about traveling to Mexico, she said.
In her view, downtown Toronto can be even more dangerous than Mexico. Michael Hunter, a professor of hospitality and tourism management at Ryerson, said it has never been particularly safe in the third or developing world.
“My advice is common sense; don’t be out so late that the criminal element is also out, and always be in full control of yourself and the situations you’re in.”
Laura Benedetto is going to Cancun with a group of friends over reading week. The second-year retail management student booked the trip in November. She is aware of the recent deaths and some of her friends even knew DePrisco.
Even so, she is not afraid to take the trip. “This stuff happens everywhere around the world, you just have to be careful,” Benedetto said. Emma Schellenberg, a second- year dance student, vacationed in Mexico three years ago and stayed at the same resort where the Ianieros were murdered.
She said that although she had a great vacation, she is too scared to go back.
Cristina Ebergenyi, a second-year, fashion communications student from Cancun, says Mexico is perfectly safe. When she was home for Christmas, she remembered all the hotels being full and tourism booming as usual.
“Nothing’s stopping people from going,” she said, adding that the locals won’t harm people just because they’re tourists.