SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel warning for Americans planning on visiting the Mexican border city of Tijuana and state of Baja California due to concerns over crime and kidnappings.

According to the warning issued on March 16, “travelers should remain on main highways and avoid remote locations … of particular concern is the high number of homicides in the non-tourist areas of Tijuana.”

The warning also says U.S. citizens have been victims of kidnappings. 

In spite of the news, officials in Tijuana remained optimistic that the warning would not keep tourists away.

“The warning is mostly for areas where tourists wouldn’t go in the first place, it won’t harm tourism or the commercial sector,” said Jorge Macías Jiménez, president of Tijuana’s Chamber of Commerce. “If people came to visit during the pandemic I don’t think this will matter.”

Macías Jiménez did state there might be some isolated cases where people stay away, but overall, he is expecting a lot of people to visit over the Spring Break holiday season.

“I do advise people use caution since there are areas where criminal disputes sometimes result in injuries or even death of bystanders, but that’s only if you venture into non-tourist areas,” he said.