Forensics work on Bulevard Fundadores in Tijuanam Mexico.
Forensics work on Bulevard Fundadores in Tijuanam Mexico. - 


Doug Krizner: The Mexican border city of Tijuana is fighting a crime wave, and American tourists have taken notice. They're avoiding the beaches in Baja California, and that's hurting the local economies. From the Americas Desk at WLRN, Marketplace's Dan Grech has more.

Dan Grech: Baja California has long been a popular weekend destination for U.S. tourists. Surfers trying to catch a few waves, couples looking for a romantic getaway, families searching for a beach vacation.

But a handful of attacks since the summer by masked armed bandits has cooled that enthusiasm.

Gordon Hanson: Given the increase in violence that we've seen over the last have decade, it was only a matter of time before American tourists started to pay attention.

Gordon Hanson directs the Center on Pacific Economies at UCSD. He says word about the violence has gotten out.

Hanson: There are a whole string of coastal cities in northern Baja that rely heavily on U.S. tourism. And they appear to have been affected quite dramatically.

Tourist visits to Baja totaled about 18 million in 2007. That's down 15 percent from the year before. In response, local police have vowed to crack down on crime.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.