Upticks in violent events in Tijuana and Mexico have brought a sudden halt to an encouraging rise in medical tourism to Baja, says Dr. Karim Chalita Rodriguez II, president of a medical group known as Clúster Médico Dental y Hospitalario de Baja California.
Quoted in Tijuana’s daily El Mexicano, the doctor went on to say that, despite efforts by his group and other business groups to publicize and maintain a positive image of Tijuana as a “secure city,” the murders that have occurred since the beginning of 2013 have put a crimp in what seemed to be an advance in the recuperation of the medical/dental industry and in the Tijuana economy in general.
According to the report, medical and dental services had been enjoying a 20 percent increase in 2012 compared to the previous year, but with international publicity over recent murders in TJ and the rapes of six Spanish tourists in Acapulco, medical and dental practitioners have noticed a sudden drop in business, which, according to Chalita, is being attributed to this negative publicity.
The doctor also pointed out that strong efforts by his group and other business interests would have to continue to promote the region in a positive manner, in conjunction with continuing crime-fighting efforts carried out on a national level.
The doctor stated that although Tijuana is a safe city, heavy international publicity can take a toll on tourism. He said the U.S. State Department’s travel warnings were also impeding recovery and growth for the sector.