Tourists in Merida decry hawkers’ persistence

Tourists gather amid vendors in Merida's Plaza Grande. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

During a survey carried out Sunday Jan. 15 in the Plaza Grande and its surroundings, some tourists commented that they have suffered from harassment by “enganchadores” (street hawkers), who in their eagerness to sell them a product or service many times exhaust patience of the visitors.

The Yucatecan business sector noted on several occasions that the activities carried out by the famous “enganchadores” are prohibited, since the street is not the right place to do business. In addition, sometimes they defraud the tourist and this gives a bad image to the city.

Tourists gather amid vendors in Merida's Plaza Grande. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
Tourists gather amid vendors in Merida’s Plaza Grande. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

Recently, the Yucatan Business Coordinating Council convened the three levels of government to do something against ambulance and the presence of hawkers because, in addition to being a constant threat to tourism, they attack the formal merchants.

One case that caught the attention is that of two Canadian tourists who were disappointed to buy two hats for 4,800 pesos ($240 USD) in a store where a hawker took them.

The strategy of these people is their voice and their ability to persuade the visitor.

“I do not know if they are “enganchadores,” but on several occasions people came to us trying to take us to a craft store or to sell us travel packages to some destination in the state,” said Gerardo Ríos Cano, a visitor from Mexico City. “We told them we did not want anything, but (the seller) was very insistent, almost a stalker.”

Another tourist consulted, Adolfo Alemán, indicated that a person began harassing him and insisted on taking him to a craft store.

“I think this type of actions represents a bad image for the city and should be ended so that the tourist can freely know the city, without being harassed,” said Armando Celis Villanueva, originally from Tabasco.





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