Baja California Sur was the state with the highest economic growth during the second quarter of 2017 against the same period a year prior with 12.6 percent, according to Riviera Maya News.
However, even with the steady rise in economic growth, there is the issue concerning the recent wave of violence suffered by the region. This wave could impact in the medium- and long-term business and economic spirit, said Miguel Angel Ochoa of the Employers’ Confederation of the Mexican Republic (Coparmex) of Baja California Sur.
Coparmex considered that tourism could be the most affected sector due to the bad impression that violence generates among national and foreign visitors. Currently, the services sector contributes 68.9 percent of the state GDP, of which at least 20 percent is generated by visitors.
Regarding the violence, from January to September 2017, the average number of homicides registered in the region was 50.7, while during the months of October and November the average shot up to 136. Cumulatively, during 2017 there were 723 homicides, 650 of which were considered as intentional.
Despite a local distrust in companies due to their relation to corrupt political leaders, Ochoa believes that small and medium businesses will continue investing. “Our forecast for 2018 is positive,” he said in a statement. “We are hoping that the consequences caused by organized crime and external issues such as the NAFTA negotiation and the U.S. tax reform are not so serious,” he said.
For travel agents, it will be something to monitor over the course of 2018 as Baja California Sur is currently listed among the U.S. State Department’s travel warnings. It reads:
Baja California Sur (includes Los Cabos and La Paz): Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain an issue throughout the state. Exercise caution as Baja California Sur continues to experience a high rate of homicides. According to Government of Mexico statistics, the state of Baja California Sur experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured, have occurred during daylight hours.