Tijuana tourism down but not dead


In case you missed it, the Los Angeles Times ran a front-page story on the decline of tourism in Tijuana. An informative piece with descriptive anecdotes and straight-forward stats, my only complaint is the ominous ending:
“We never imagined that tourists would stop coming,” said Clark Alfaro of the Bi-National Center for Human Rights. “It’s a shame.”

Tourism is down, yes.  People are freaked out about the crime and hesitant about the new passport requirement, but if any place could survive and overcome a lull, Tijuana can.

I remember when they passed the law about the bike lane to cross the border. The idea was to encourage regular commuters to ride their bikes then take the trolley to their jobs, but about a week or so after the law went into effect, Tijuana’s crafty moneymakers set up shop right in front of the border and rented out bikes to tourists who would rather pay $7 than wait in line for two hours.  The whole thing became a prosperous little business venture until the border folks caught on and eventually shut the bike lane down.

My point here is that the collective memory is fickle and will soon forget the violence, which has ebbed and flowed in Tijuana for years, and Tijuana’s ingenious tourism tradesmen will hang in there in the meantime and figure out a way to get the crowds to come back down.  I mean, where else can you legally bet on a sports game, see a live lucha libre fight and drink cheap tequila in one day?  Tijuana is too tempting to stay away from for too long.


About Kinsee Morlan

Arts and web editor at San Diego CityBeat. Interested in art and the Tijuana/San Diego border.
This entry was posted in Art & culture. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Tijuana tourism down but not dead

  1. john cuellar says:

    yeah, Good luck TJ until you get your act together and stop the corruption and get rid of all the tacky peddlers of junk. I think the side show is stale. The cops stopping anyone for no apparent reason. My own security I was told once. The horrendous lines next to old busses belching diesel as you wait to get back to home sweet home. Plus spending 100+ for a passport…Oh I forgot the stench over the tijuana river which conveniently goes into the pacific ocean. Like the famous mexican president once said “poor mexico, so close the the United States and so far from GOD.

  2. The current wave of violence in Tijuana share a lot of parallels with Miami during the cocaine wars of the 80s, and may be just as bloody. On the plus side, Miami wound up becoming the city it is today. Maybe a bright future is in store for Tijuana, too.

  3. Unemployed WASP says:

    Not many people around last time I visited Tijuana. I think they are getting desperate. One of the policemen walked out of an alley and started to toss something in his hand down near my feet but my dad come up and he palmed it instead. It appeared to me he was going to toss some drugs at my feet to make me a McCriminal to get some money. That’s how it looked to me.

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