City to add 2,500 more hotel rooms in tourist area.
For the next year, the Merida hotel zone would have 2,500 more hotel rooms with the construction of the International Convention Center, said Saúl Ancona Salazar, Tourism Promotion Secretary (Secretaría de Fomento al Turismo, Sefotur, in Spanish).
Formally, Sefotur has information of 16 construction projects of new hotels in Mérida, which are in different phases, but eight of them are already on the way. At least five have already begun construction in the proximities of the Convention Center and the others are in the process of obtaining the permissions from different authorities, said the official.
The hotels that are already in the process of construction or to finish all its procedures are the Wayam by Xixim, a boutique hotel of a regional investor, who already has the land ready, on Colón Avenue. There are also two hotels of the entrepreneur José Chapur Zahoul, which are behind the Hyatt and in the land that used to be occupied by the Consulate of the United States, in the corner of Colon Avenue and boulevard Paseo de Montejo. The others are in the process of obtaining permits.
The official recalled that the total investment in the 16 projects of which he has knowledge exceeds $1 billion pesos, but he knows that these new buildings take time, so that new hotels will emerge gradually in at least 3 or 5 years.
He also knows, by information from the municipal authority, that there are about 20 hotel projects, but of those he only has had contact with 16.
“Every hotel goes at its pace,” he said. “The hotel of great tourism that will be in the location of the consulate is waiting for him to release all his paperwork and permits, we are supporting them to finish the process.”
He then said that two new hotels that are already ready to operate and will support medical tourism are the Hilton Garden Inn, which is opposite the monument to Las Haciendas in the Colony Altabrisa, and the City Express Junior, which is on the side of the vehicular bridge of the Peripheral Ring, also in the vicinity of the same colony.
“In general terms, there are five hotels that are ready to build in the next 18 months,” he said. “The project of engineer Joseph (Chapur Zahoul), will be announced at their time. We have received news that there will be an Ibis hotel in the surrounding area of Plaza Galerías, another in the new Colony of Vía Montejo, but there’s only a possibility.
Sefotur is informed about the projects almost at the end of their construction, when they ask for support for the training of their staff, advice to carry out a process or announce the project, he explained. So far he knows there are brands that want to expand their business like the Hilton Garden, which already has two hotels in Merida, among others that at the moment only ask for statistics or express their interest to operate a hotel, not to build it.
It is difficult in a single year to open 1,200 rooms, he said, but what is certain is that with the construction of the new International Congress Center in the hotel zone, the hosting offer will grow by 2,500 in the medium term.
Currently, the hotel zone has just over 1,000 rooms.
The hotel offer of Yucatan is 13,000 rooms at present, in 428 lodging centers.
The secretary did not talk too much about the new Convention Center because the news will be given next month. However, he anticipated that it already has events sold for 2018 and will leave that property with many events that will generate a significant income to the city.
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