Progreso’s Calle 23 to be turned into a tourist pedestrian corridor

“There are plans to improve the tourist area of ​​the city of Progreso: the artisan “tianguis” flea market will be renovated, 23rd Street between 78 and 80 will be turned into a tourist pedestrian corridor and the House of Culture will be “reinvented”, and transformed into another attraction of this port”, reported Manuel Rosado Heredia, Progreso’s Municipal Director of Tourism.

The announcement was made along with five commitments of the Secretariat of Tourism Development (Sefotur) for the Port of Progreso, on Friday Feb. 1st. This is suppose to be a Master Plan for the Improvement of the Tourist Image of Progreso, in order to enhance the tourist experience, including a redesign of the Puerto Maya Progreso.

Roberto Sánchez González, president of the Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism (Canaco-Servitur) of Progreso, stated that the authorities must elaborate a plan to attend not only to the cruise paasengers, but to the visitors in general. Specially the large Canadian community that spends several months of the year in the port, who also demand public services and infrastructure, according to the head of Canaco-Servitur.

“Progreso has tourism potential,” said the business leader, who made four proposals:

1) Service providers should be uniformed (so tourists can identify them) and properly trained.

2) The same rate must be charged for tourist services; for example, banana rides and massages.

3) All restaurants must have a special dish with the same price.

4) The annual triathlon should be called Triathlon Progreso-Mérida, not just Mérida Triathlon, because the port is also a venue of this competitions that is not mentioned. The event should be used to promote the port, because it leaves an economic spill for the people of this coastal town too.

Rosado Heredia stated: “Progreso must be promoted as a “brand” and tourist destination in Mexico and abroad, in order to attract more visitors. Progreso is a destination for cruise tourism but also for local passers-by and national visitors, who arrive during Semana Santa, summer and Christmas holiday seasons”.

“For several years now, the city of Progreso and the ports of Chicxulub, Chelem and Chuburna have become attractive second-home destinations for thousands of Canadians who spend their winter holidays in their beach houses down here.  During the winter period, over 7,000 Canadians arrive at the port, not to mention that some 2,000 Canadians live in the ports of the municipality full time, that is why the Progreso Municipality is an important tourist pole that deserves attention from the municipal and state authorities”, he continued.

“Although cruise passengers spend a brief time in the city, they leave an important economic spill for the service providers in the port. However, better infrastructure is required to give them the proper attention, and investment is urgent to make these tourists stay in Progreso instead of just skipping the port and head down to either Mérida or the archaeological sites”, Rosado Heredia added.

Finally Progreso’s Municipal Director of Tourism considered regrettable that the state secretary of State Tourism Promotion Michelle Fridman, had declared that it is easier to remove Progreso from the map and rebuild it from scratch.

“This statement is absolutely unacceptable”, Manuel Rosado Heredia concluded.

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