SAN DIEGO.- Nearly 81 percent of Baja California visitors from the United States consider the state to be much safer than what the press says, as evidenced by the study "Tourism Trends" conducted by research agency CrossBorder Group.
The report states that 51 percent of US tourists crossing the border into Tijuana perceive Baja California to be "very" or "somewhat" safe, while 31.9 percent consider its safety to be "neutral."
This has resulted in an important growth in tourism; high numbers were recorded during the first half of the year, mainly in hotel occupancy.
From January to June of 2012, Baja California reports occupancy of 37.9 percent, an increase of 2.4 percent from 2011 according to the CrossBorder Group study that was based on data by the Secretary of Tourism.
During the same period (before summer), Ensenada's port had a hotel demand of 33.5 percent, four points above last year.
According to the report, during the last two years international tourism makes up 25 percent of Ensenada's hotel occupancy, something that is expected to go up due to the high interest the vineyards and Wine Route from Guadalupe Valley have sparked.
In Rosarito, hotel occupancy before summer reached 18.2 percent, 4.5 points more than 2011's first half.
According to Baja California's Secretary of Tourism, Juan Tintos Funcke, the upturn is due to a variety of reasons. Firstly, there was a perception survey conducted in a number of California cities that showed the "lack of information" and "disinformation" regarding Baja California's image.
On the other hand, and in response to the economy crisis, a better offer was made regarding the area's attractions.
"The best kind of promotion is a happy tourist, they are the ones that come back and speak highly of the state."
Translation by Karen Balderas (firstname.lastname@example.org)