At the largest convention of Caribbean cruise lines, Gov. Zapata promoted Yucatan as a key destination for the attraction of more ships, thanks to the state’s tourist attractions and infrastructure…
MERIDA — Mexico is the main destination for international cruises worldwide, with a 9% annual increase in passenger numbers, and the Caribbean region boasts the highest number of cruise passengers registered annually. One of every three cruises made in the world is destined for a Caribbean port.
With this panorama of the world’s cruise industry as a backdrop, Yucatan Gov. Rolando Zapata Bello expressed that Yucatan is ready to receive a greater number of cruises, as it has the necessary products, services and infrastructure. He made these overtures in a working meeting with owners and presidents of the main cruise lines of the planet and with the ministers of tourism of fifteen Caribbean nations, held at the 24 Annual Conference of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), in Merida this week.
At that meeting were present the top executives of Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland American, Disney, among others of the most important cruise lines.
The Port of Progreso, which currently receives three weekly cruises, has enough infrastructure to receive 21 cruises per week. On average the last 4 years have reached 120 annual cruises; for 2017 the arrival of more than 130 cruises to Yucatán is projected.
FCCA officials pointed out during the meeting that each cruise passenger spends an average of $103.80 USD ashore and each crew member $67.10 dollars, so attracting even more cruises to the Yucatecan coasts will generate great benefits for the population of the port and the interior.
On average, a cruise passenger spends 4.3 hours ashore, and our state has everything needed for cruise passengers to make the most of their shore time, visiting the beaches of Progreso, the Archaeological Zones of Uxmal and Chichen Itza, the ring of cenotes, the Magic Towns of Valladolid and Izamal or the attractions that exist in Mérida, Zapata said.
In that sense, according to one of the current trends in the cruise industry, Yucatan is an attractive destination for theme cruises and visitors looking for cultural experiences. In fact, 68% of cruisers decide their vacations for what the destination offers.
Meanwhile, Port of Progreso Director Raul Torre Gamboa held interviews with the owners and directors of shipping companies Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises, Holland America Line and MSC Cruises to offer Progreso as a destination for their routes in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.
Torre Gamboa touted Progreso’s modernization, which includes the alternate viaduct, as well as upgrading the cruise terminal. In addition, he described plans to deepen the navigation channel and maneuvering docks, allowing the arrival of larger cruise ships.
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