A swine flu scare, an explosive drug war and the global recession have put an end to RV tour company Tracks to Adventure’s unique train caravans into Mexico.
”The train tours are over for now. It’s a decision I had to make,” said Tracks President Larry Olsen.
The drug war violence was the last straw.
”We canceled our Mexico trips because of everything that was going on down there,” he said.
Tracks Last year organized two tours to the Yucatan Peninsula, one through the 172-mile-long Copper Canyon and one to Baja California where RVs were transported to Mexican campgrounds on flatbed railroad cars.
But even with the elimination of the Mexico tours, El Paso, Texas-based Tracks still is organizing more than 30 over-the-road RV tours this summer at an average cost of $6,000 per rig throughout the U.S., Canada and Australia. Rallies and trips include excursions to Alaska, through national parks in Colorado, Wyoming and Arizona, plus the Old South, Canada’s Maritime provinces and to special events such as Madi Gras, the Calgary Stampede and the Rose Parade.
”We are still answering the phone and concentrating on the United States,” Olsen said. ”We’ve never had any trouble in Mexico, but something could happen. It took some thought and some soul searching to cancel the Mexico tours.”
Although reducing his tour catalog, in one sense, Olsen said he’s glad that the Mexico tours are over.
Olsen will consider resuming the Mexico tours ”if the security situation gets better down there.
”People always want to go to Mexico,” Olsen said. ”There are 100,000 Americans living down there, and we’ve got people calling up and saying they want to go, even now.”
Increased violence in Mexico has resulted in the U.S. Department of State to issue a more stringent travel warning for the Mexican states of Durango, Coahuila and Chihuahua as of March 14.
“In consideration of this travel warning and for the safety of our clientele, Tracks to Adventure is canceling all scheduled Mexico tours until further notice. Deposits paid by holders of reservations for Mexico tours will be refunded in full,” the El Paso, Texas-based company announced today (April 13) in a news release.
“Tracks has been and will continue to monitor the situation, and if improvement in the security situation in the Republic of Mexico improves significantly, we will consider resumption of our Mexico tour operations,” the company added.