|
|
|
|
Search: 
Latin American Herald Tribune
Venezuela Overview
Venezuelan Embassies & Consulates Around The World
Sites/Blogs about Venezuela
Venezuelan Newspapers
Facts about Venezuela
Venezuela Tourism
Embassies in Caracas

Colombia Overview
Colombian Embassies & Consulates Around the World
Government Links
Embassies in Bogota
Media
Sites/Blogs about Colombia
Educational Institutions

Stocks

Commodities
Crude Oil
US Gasoline Prices
Natural Gas
Gold
Silver
Copper

Euro
UK Pound
Australia Dollar
Canada Dollar
Brazil Real
Mexico Peso
India Rupee

Antigua & Barbuda
Aruba
Barbados
Cayman Islands
Cuba
Curacao
Dominica

Grenada
Haiti
Jamaica
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Belize
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Honduras
Nicaragua
Panama

Bahamas
Bermuda
Mexico

Argentina
Brazil
Chile
Guyana
Paraguay
Peru
Uruguay

What's New at LAHT?
Follow Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Most Viewed on the Web
Popular on Twitter
Receive Our Daily Headlines


  HOME | Mexico

Gang Violence, Algae and No Publicity Shrink Mexican Caribbean Tourism

CANCUN, Mexico – The hotel sector on the Mexican Caribbean in the southeastern part of the country faces financial losses in the first five months of the year following a 6 percent drop in tourist arrivals due to the sargasso algae plague, gang violence and the lack of publicity.

The president of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association (AHRM), Conrad Bergwerf, told EFE that all this had a “sadly negative impact” during the first five months of 2019 “ with “6 percent fewer visitors to the area” compared with the same period in 2018.

By the end of 2018, Quintana Roo had 102,890 hotel reservations. Of those 41,416 were in Cancun and Puerto Morelos, 46,969 on the Riviera Maya and the rest in other destinations like Chetumal and Holbox Island.

According to Bergwerf, the Riviera Maya alone has calculated losses of $12 million between January and May 2019.

In Cancun and Puerto Morelos, estimated losses are between $10 million and $11 million, according sources in the sector.

Tourism in Mexico represents 8.8 percent of GDP and generates 4.1 million direct jobs and 6.5 million indirect sources of employment, with the Mexican Caribbean being one of the main attractions.

For the head of the hotel association, the lack of tourism advertising is of great concern because there are no longer any campaigns to reverse the negative effects of problems like the sargasso algae and gang violence, following the disappearance of the Tourism Promotion Council of Mexico (CPTM).

According to official data, in Quintana Roo at least five criminal gangs fight to take control of drug sales, chiefly in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, with shootouts and the settling of scores that scare tourists off the beaches.

Nonetheless, for Bergwerf the problem has improved over the past few months, which would coincide with the installation of a unified police command over several regions, such as Playa del Carmen since May, which means state police are replacing municipal forces.

But what has undoubtedly hurt tourism most in Quintana Roo over the past few months is the massive invasion of sargasso algae, which means fewer visitors and additional costs for the sector.

“The average expense per hotel to clean up 200 to 300 meters (660 to 980 feet) of beach is around $100,000 a month,” he said.

Faced with the magnitude of the problem and the urgency to apply workable strategies, the business sector has been knocking at the door of international organizations.

In order to get funding and expand improvements regionally, in early June a delegation headed by Carlos Gosselin Maurel, president of Puerto Morelos Protocol – an organization of business owners and executives seeking to fight the sargasso plague – presented before the United Nations in New York a report on the problem.

“It was very well received,” said Roberto Cintron Gomez, president of the Hotel Association of Cancun and Puerto Morelos.

But while today sargasso is seen as a huge problem for a resort whose main attraction is sun and sand, Gosselin maintains that if the algae could be used as the raw material for some industrial purpose or product, the situation would be turned around immediately.

Alfredo Arellano, head of the Ecology and Environment Secretariat (SEMA) of Quintana Roo, told EFE that just cleaning up the sargasso algae in areas considered priorities – some 50 kilometers (30 miles) or 10 percent of the entire Quintana Roo coastline – would have a monthly cost of 80 million pesos (some $4.2 million).

He said that massive deposits don’t happen every day, nor is the entire coastline buried under piles of algae, but he acknowledged that the most immense invasion of sargasso to date was in 2018.

 

Enter your email address to subscribe to free headlines (and great cartoons so every email has a happy ending!) from the Latin American Herald Tribune:

 

Copyright Latin American Herald Tribune - 2005-2019 © All rights reserved