Fonatur will no longer allow the construction of new hotel rooms because the ‘urban stain’ of this tourist pole is beginning to suffer a lack of water supply.
MEXICO (El Financiero) – The government, through the National Fund for Tourism Development (Fonatur), will no longer allow the construction of new hotel rooms in Cancun.
Benito Juarez, the capital city of the number one tourist destination in Mexico, is beginning to suffer from the lack of water supply.
“We do not want to scare off investment, but we do not agree that there is an over-exploitation,” said Rogelio Jimenez Pons, general director of Fonatur.
The decision comes 50 years after the government declared Cancún the first Integrally Planned Center (CIP) to promote tourism in the country, which has led to the concentration of nearly 40 percent of the lodgings in Quintana Roo, with 35,000 lodge spaces and an annual average of three percent in rooms.
Since Fonatur’s announcement, they expect that hotel companies could see their growth plans canceled for the next five years when they will no longer be allowed to build one more room. Besides, the decentralized agency of the Tourism Secretariat, headed by Rogelio Jiménez Pons, is seeking to recover the densities of the original project.
However, for the next three years, in Quintana Roo, including Cancun, it is estimated that four out of 10 of the hotel rooms planned to be built by the major hotel chains will be opened, which see confidence in the preferred destination of international tourists.
Jiménez Pons intends to request the city council of Benito Juárez, where the tourist pole is located, the cessation of permits for the construction of hotel complexes in the first CIP.
If the municipality refuses to attend to the sustainable development proposals in Cancun, Fonatur will stop providing maintenance to the resort, which receives 25.4 million air tourists a year.
Jimenez Pons insisted that the investments budgeted for Cancun can be taken to other destinations such as Huatulco, where hotel development needs to be reactivated and where there is space to build more hotels.
Despite the federal government’s stance, executives from the leading hotel chains, as well as business representatives from the vacation property, told El Financiero that their firms’ expansion plans continue in Cancún.
“We understand the changes that are happening in the tourism sector, as well as the impact they have on the different companies that belong to it. We know that there are challenges, and taking this into account, I reiterate that Hyatt is maintaining the same line of expansion in the country (…) Hyatt has a presence with several of its brands in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Also, we have projects that we are analyzing in the destination”, said Camilo Bolaños, Vice President of Development of the hotel chain.
Apple Leisure, a firm that brings more tourists from the United States to Mexico, has 18 properties in Quintana Roo, between Cancun, Riviera Maya, Cozumel, and Playa Mujeres. Only last year, three of the four resorts opened by Apple Leisure were located in Cancun.
If Fonatur’s initiative succeeds, investments would have to move to Mexico, or investors would seek other destinations in the Caribbean, such as the Dominican Republic, Aruba, among others, to develop new rooms.
The Yucatan Times
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