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Follow the Code of Ethics when dealing with Mexico alcohol inquiries, says ACTA

TORONTO — ACTA has issued an advisory to members in the wake of allegations of possibly tainted alcohol served to guests at a Mexico resort.

“Resorts in Mexico have been under the microscope recently related to incidents involving alleged tainted alcohol being served to guests,” says ACTA President Wendy Paradis. “In dealing with this issue ACTA is encouraging their members to adhere to the Association’s Code of Ethics specifically where it states that when dealing with the public, it is the duty of ACTA members to:

  • Make every effort to ensure that accurate information is provided to enable their clients to exercise an informed judgment in making their choice of travel services; and
  • Advise clients of known health requirements/risks and refer them to a travel medicine professional when appropriate to the trip being undertaken.”

Milwaukee vacationer Abbey Conner, 20, on holiday with her family at Iberostar Paraiso del Mar, was found dead in the hotel’s pool in January 2017. She and her brother had been drinking alcohol served by the hotel bar. The family is now suing Iberostar Hotels & Resorts. The hotel chain notes that toxicology results indicate Conner had a blood alcohol level of 0.25 when she was admitted to hospital and denies any wrongdoing.

The Mexico Tourism Board recently issued a statement and released a FAQ to support the industry.

“The Mexico Tourism Board takes any incident involving visitors very seriously. We have been monitoring this situation and have been in contact with the local destination and hotels.

“The sympathies of the Mexico Tourism Board, and the entire Mexican tourism industry, go out to those affected.

“We can confirm the strictest guidelines and processes related to alcohol procurement, handling and serving of guests with the goal of ensuring quality and control are in place by the hotel and industry.”

The U.S. Department of State recently updated its Mexico information to include a new warning under ‘Safety & Security’, indicating that there have been allegations that consumption of tainted or substandard alcohol has resulted in illness or blacking out.

The Mexico Tourism Board says ensuring the safety of visitors is always a priority, and notes that the U.S. Department of State’s warning includes a reminder for travellers: “If you choose to drink alcohol, it is important to do so in moderation and to stop and seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill.”

The Mexico Tourism Board also notes that “incidents such as these are extremely rare among the 35 million international tourists who visit Mexico each year, and the entire Mexican tourism industry will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the safety and satisfaction of all visitors.”

Paradis says ACTA recommends that members refer their clients to the advice and advisories on the government of Canada websites and

“This information is the Government of Canada’s official source of destination-specific information to help your clients make informed decisions and to travel safely while abroad. It is recommended that you check these websites for your destination prior to planning your trip, and again shortly before you leave. Safety and security conditions may change between the date you book your travel and your departure date.”

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