Text by Alyson Sheppard
Travel journalist Peter Greenberg has been vocal in his support of continued travel to Mexico in the wake of the H1N1 virus scare, and on May 23, he took his crusade to a whole new level—he broadcast his radio show from the abandoned beaches of Cancún.
“I’m happy to report that I am not frothing at the mouth, I’m not glowing in the dark, and I’m not sleeping with a pig,” Greenberg wrote on his blog at petergreenberg.com.
Convinced that travel to and from the country is safe as long as tourists act responsibly, use common sense, and practice basic personal hygiene, Greenberg spent three days in the luxurious spa resort El Dorado Royale in the Riviera Maya in Cancún, Mexico, and joked about the health panic on his weekly radio show, Peter Greenberg Worldwide.
“The point is: Are we going to be intelligent travelers or fearful travelers?” Greenberg said. “It’s perfectly all right; In fact, I insist on an abundance of concern and caution. I also insist on throwing out an abundance of fear and stupidity.”
Greenberg, who also advocated—and did—travel to China during the SARS crisis, said hotel occupancy in the Mexican region is averaging under 20 percent now, and severely hurting the tourism industry.
“It’s time to be an intelligent, contrarian traveler. That’s right. And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you do your homework,” he said.
His three-hour long show, available on podcast, includes interviews with over a dozen experts from the tourism and medicine industries, such as New York Times columnist Michelle Higgins, who says tourists can grab last-minute bargains if they act quickly, and Josef Woodman, the author of Patients Beyond Borders, who gives advice on how tourists can protect their immune systems on the road.
To download a podcast of Greenberg’s tips and read more about his trip, click here.