With Semana Santa in full swing, Merida is welcoming thousands of tourists from foreign countries and other parts of Mexico, hotels are reporting record occupancy and local officials are promoting a wide variety of activities for both visitors and local residents.
More than 100,000 airline passengers were expected to have passed through Merida’s International Airport during the two-week holiday period, which also includes the week following Easter Sunday, according to Hector Navarrete Muñoz, director of ASUR, which operates the airport.
The recent addition of international flights to Merida from Dallas-Fort Worth, Toronto and Milan means that the White City is receiving even more foreign tourists than ever for the Easter period, Navarrete said.
Since last weekend, Merida’s “Manuel Crescencio Rejon” airport has been serving an average of 200 passengers per hour and will keep up the same pace for the rest of the Easter holiday period, the official added.
Mexican tourists are arriving in force on full flights from other parts of the country, including Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Sonora, Sinaloa, Puebla, Queretaro, Chiapas, and foreign tourists are coming from United States, Japan, South Korea, China, and parts of Europe, Navarrete said.
Meanwhile, Merida’s accommodations, especially boutique hotels of four and five stars, are reporting 90 percent occupancy for the holidays.
The president of the Tourism Business Council (Cetur), Jorge Escalante Bolio, highlighted as a great achievement that the tourism sector has achieved these occupancy levels, including the premium sector.
Escalante Bolio said that 60 percent of visitors to Yucatán are national and 40 percent foreigners from Canada, the United States, Korea and Europe.
The vice president of tourism activities and cultural heritage of the Canacome, Carol Kolozs Fischer, said that thanks to the promotional campaigns conducted in the foreign market, both by state and federal authorities, Yucatán is fashionable.
He said that for this weekend, boutique hotels occupancy at 90 to 100 percent is due to a large flow of foreign tourism in the state.
Kolozs Fischer indicated that domestic tourism is also important for the organization, and it is very important to ensure that tourists have options of many activities to choose from and have a good experience.
“They want to choose from, I want to go to this beach, I want to go to this cenote, and in doing so receive a good service and have entertainment options,” he said.
To encourage family life and offer entertainment options for the Easter holidays, Merida Mayor, Mauricio Vila Dosal, has opened swimming pools in Merida parks.
Animaya Park Zoo also opened the door to the Aquatic Park earlier this week, adding an option to mitigate the heat and make the most of the visit to the zoo. The hours of operation of the Water Park are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The director of Municipal Utilities, Jorge Luis Montalvo Duarte, said pools at the Ecological Park West and Aquatic Park will be staffed with lifeguards to ensure the safety of children and their families.
On Monday March 28, Merida’s zoos will be open from six in the morning until six in the evening.
Law enforcement has been stepped up throughout Merida to cope with the influx of visitors. While patrols in downtown’s Centro Historico were highly visible, the Federal Police tightened security at the airport in Merida for drugs, weapons and undocumented travelers, and searches were being conducted as prevention measures against any possible attacks, said commander Alan Parrish Castillo.
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