CANCUN, Mexico — Mexican tourism officials expect more than 40,000 students to converge on Cancun as spring break activities peak. The past few years, the number of visitors has been smaller.
Some Americans had stayed away from Mexico altogether because of violence in certain regions. But this year, the crowd is back.
“It’s lovely here, and it’s a good place to bring your family,” said Renee Discher of Plano. She and her husband brought their 21-year-old daughter Christy and her friends to Cancun for spring break.
Christy Discher's goal? “A tan. I’m so white!” said the Texas Tech student.
While some came to the Yucatan peninsula to soak up some sun for others, the turquoise water is the attraction.
“I wanted to go where the beaches and the water was crystal clear, and good snorkeling and just pretty weather," said Paige Summers, a high school student from Houston on spring break with her parents.
A group of girls who attend a Catholic School in St. Louis came to Cancun to escape freezing temperatures.
“It was snowing and raining and so cold,” said Cassidy Manns. Her mother was one of six chaperones on the senior spring break trip to Cancun.
“There are 11 girls and six moms, so I think we’re covered,” said Kim Manns.
“My parents were very skeptical because it’s Mexico and it’s out of the country," said Kara Gibson, one of the students. But they’re comfortable because the moms are here. “It’s actually a very safe resort,” Gibson said.
Cancun has not been included in the U.S. State Department travel warning for Mexico, but has suffered because some tourists have avoided the country.
But now it seems they’re coming back to Cancun. Hotel occupancy rates hover at 90 percent for spring break 2013.
“My uncle and my dad, they both went when they were my age, and so they said they were going to take us again,” said Brandon Mazique, 18, a high school student from New Orleans who is spending spring break in Cancun with his family.
As he enjoyed the beach, Mazique considered the possibilities for that night.
“I could be at some sort of dance club getting my groove on, know what I’m saying?”