Puerto Vallarta is a Beautiful, Safe Place! (And Thanks for the Free Trip, Tourism Board!)

Okay, we didn't really take a press junket to Puerto Vallarta.

But we apparently could have, for no more trouble than preparing an assignment letter for the Mexico city's Tourism Board and its PR company, Latititude.

Check out the letter to "journalists" below. Sounds like we can expect to soon read plenty of positive press about Puerto Vallarta.

Clearly, the hope is that those articles will replace the "negative" stories of the last few months: The 22 cruise-ship passengers robbed of their belongings on the way back from a jungle hike, and the canceling of port stops by Princess Cruise Lines last summer, a few days after the murder of a Canadian citizen.

The robbery, plus the coming Spring-Break pilgrimage by college students to Rocky Point, spurred the Arizona Republic to roll out its yearly "is Mexico safe?" story.

We published our own take on the Rocky Point safety issue last year, concluding that it was relatively safe for American tourists -- though not necessarily for Mexicans. We haven't heard any reports about tourists being accosted or injured since our report.

Scroll down for Tourism Board's press junket:

Dear Journalist: The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board is happy to share with you our press trip dates for 2012. As you will see we have tried to incorporate a range of activities that can be done in PV and we hope you will be able to join us in one of them.

As always our trips include international air from the US or Canada as well as hotel stays, meals part of the trips itinerary and a themed agenda of activities. All participating journalists are required have an assignment letter to participate. Please contact me at your earliest convenience. Press trip list 2012 April 25-29, 2012 Romance and Spas

· Despite your wedding being the happiest day of your life, getting there can create a headache or two, not only for you but for everyone involved. Let yourself go and allow one of Puerto Vallarta's many wedding planners help you make your special day truly spectacular, without the worry and stress.

· There is no better way to bond than having fun together. Whether you are into birdwatching or scuba diving, outdoor adventures are always romantic. What a better way to have an unforgettable experience with your loved one in the midst of nature's playground?

· Puerto Vallarta is an international gastronomic destination for the gourmet savvy and romantically inclined. It has a wealth of award-winning and casual dining restaurants for every palate on your special day, whether it be a honeymoon or anniversary celebration.

· Your wedding day is perhaps one of the most important days of your life, and one that you will remember forever, whether it be a private getaway for two or an event for a few hundred of your closest friends.

· Spas have sprung up all over the world as people realize the value of caring for your health and body. Puerto Vallarta is home to some world-class spas that will let your tension just melt away. Some spas even have couple´s chambers in order for you to share that memorable experience with the one you love.

June 7-10, 2012 MICE Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico's leading destinations. Its world class infrastructure and superior facilities along with its proximity to and easy access from key markets in the USA and Canada make it a preferred destination for meetings and conventions. One of the most charming resort towns on the Mexican Riviera, Puerto Vallarta offers romantic architecture, cobblestone streets, an impressive marina, seven championship golf courses and a wide array of sports activities. This picturesque city is home to a state-of-the-art convention center, world-class hotels with numerous options of meeting spaces to choose from as well as an array of activities for groups to participate in throughout their stay.

October 18-21, 2012 Adventure

Have you ever seen the Survivor Reality show? You don´t have to go halfway round the world to experience extreme sports and wild eco adventures...you have them all in Puerto Vallarta. The dense jungle in the mountains just 5 minutes from your hotel on the beach is a good place to start. Or if the ocean is your playground you can set to sea within minutes of your hotel.

November 8-11, 2012 Festival Gourmet The Puerto Vallarta Gourmet Festival was born in March 1995 from that inspiration. Initiating the local culinary creativity and launching a world-class gastronomy event. Back then, six five star hotels and six independent restaurants participated in the festival. There were 12 guest chefs, thus establishing the pattern that continues to this day, a guest chef from each restaurant.

The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board is sponsoring this press trip which includes round trip air, hotel stay (property to be determined), activities (combination of hotel site inspection, convention center inspection and leisure activities).

All participants are required to have assignment letters.

I hope you are able to join us. Gustavo Rivas-Solis

27 East 31st Street, 12th Flr. New York, NY 10016 T: + 1(212) 633-2047

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern