The closure of archaeological sites leaves a loss of 80 million pesos

People surround the Kukulcan Pyramid at the Mayan archaeological site of Chichen Itza in Yucatan State, Mexico, during the celebration of the spring equinox on March 21, 2019. (AFP/Hugo Borges)

MÉRIDA, YUCATAN.- The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) lost about 80 million pesos (about 4 million USD), in revenue with the closure of the 17 archaeological zones, for just over four months, revealed the National Institute Anthropology and History (INAH).

So far there is no date for the reopening of the pre-Hispanic cities, which have been closed since the last week of March, due to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic.

Therefore, the federal government ordered the suspension of the activities of the 178 archaeological zones open to the public as well as the 101 museums in the country.

According to the INAH, the pre-Columbian cities of Mexico would be reopened when the Covid-19 Epidemiological Risk Traffic Light goes to green.

In the State, the archaeological sites remain closed due to the temporary interruption of school, work, and recreational activity, as well as mobility in public spaces, in order to break the transmission chain of Covid-19.

From January to March of the current year, 6,411,581 people entered the museums and pre-Columbian cities, with a reduction of 12.3 percent compared to the same period of 2019, when the total was 7,312,247.

Of this total, 3,611,677 people entered pre-Hispanic cities, 56.3 percent, and two million 799 thousand 904 visitors went to museums, 43.7 percent.

Of that total, 4,899,297 were nationals, 76.4 percent, and 1,512,284 were foreigners, 23.6 percent.

In this period, archaeological tourism decreased by 16.8 percent, and in 2019 there were 4,340,182 tourists who visited the archaeological sites across the state.