Vallarta Security Study

For the past couple of weeks the conclusion of a security report about Puerto Vallarta has been floating around, and I’ve neglected to post it because I couldn’t find out who had asked for the study or to substantiate whether it was real or not. Well it seems it is, the PV Tourism Board asked Thomas Dale & Associates to do the assessment. TDA has clients such as Walt Disney, CNN, Qualcomm, Linkedin and many others.

Its a 14-page report that concludes with the following:

Agent Moya was contracted by Thomas Dale & Associates to conduct a Security/Threat assessment for the Tourist Bureau of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Moya went to Puerto Vallarta (PV) on April 6th through the 13th and gathered necessary information to present a comprehensive report in relation to all aspects of tourist security.

Scope: The geographic area of study is the resort city of Puerto Vallarta (PV) in the State of Jalisco, Mexico. Although the PV ex-pat population and tourist areas extend into the neighboring northern state of Nayarit known as Nuevo Vallarta, this study will concentrate on old PV. The PV airport in Jalisco is the same destination for all tourists/ex-pats and accumulated area data is relevant to the study.

Methodology: Since tourism is the cornerstone of the PV economy, all aspects of PV society were important to the study. Moya began with interviews of domestic as well as international tourists, American and Canadian Consuls, retired ex-pats, time share members, seasonal boaters, business owners, hospital administrators, gay community business representatives, ex- pat Health insurance professionals, cabbies, conventioneers, and honeymooners.

The interviews focused on three areas; “do you feel safe in PV? If not why; Have you been a victim or know someone who was a victim of a crime? If so, were you satisfied with the outcome? Are you aware of the US government cautions regarding travel to Mexico? If so, what helped you decide on Puerto Vallarta?” The interviews were followed up by requests to local law enforcement sources for crime data and Department deployment. The Civil Protection Dept. (FIMA) was also consulted regarding natural disasters and is discussed later.

In addition to personal interviews, police statistics, and official tourist government sources, As illustrated, Puerto Vallarta has a large ex-pat resident population and multi-million visitors every year. The number of negative events involving foreigners or non-foreigners is fractional compared to other resort cities in Mexico or the United States. Its support services are above average and focused on serving the visiting public. According to the Federal Police, the limited land transit makes the smuggling of guns and drugs through Puerto Vallarta very difficult. It lies between the influence of the La Familia cartel in Michoacan to the south and the Sinaloa cartel in the North. Situational awareness should be practiced whenever you are out of your customary environment.

Recommendations: With the emergence of social websites as a popular communication medium, periodically monitor them for negative or unfounded criticism and offer rebuttals when appropriate. Prior to travel consult your travel agent for travel/medical insurance. Also check your primary carrier for out of country programs.

That’s about it. I was expecting something a little more comprehensive. Really didn’t give us much that we already didn’t know. Perhaps they should have asked STRATFOR to do the report. But at least we know how the report originated.


2 Responses to Vallarta Security Study

  1. Scott Wilson says:

    I agree, this looks like a weak summary. Where would we find the other 14 pages? I’d like to see the quantative data on violent crime in PV. I’d like to have stats to refute the constant concern expressed by friends and family due to sensationalist media. Thanks for the post.

  2. Mike says:

    This isn’t anything we already didnt know but what we need is people to make up there own minds without the influence of the American media they are totally irresponsible and have lost there validity. This tatic is employed to stop the retirement & medical dollars from leaving the country how does the US differ from Iraq you all being told what to think.

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