Mérida, Yucatán, (June 19, 2021).- The Yucatan tourism industry is going through a situation of contradiction due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic: businessmen promote destinations for visitors to come and generate economic benefits, and the state government applies restrictive measures that inhibit them.
If the government increases restrictions, would it kill tourism? The president of the Yucatan Tourism Business Council, Jorge Carrillo Sáenz, was asked in an interview.
“I think so, we would be seriously affected if we go back to the previous restrictions,” he replied. “The entire sector would be affected, it is difficult to think about working on promotional campaigns for visitors to come; and when they arrive, they find that there are restrictions on mobility, that restaurants invite you to retire at 11 pm, that they have limited capacity, all of these measures inhibit tourism, “he said.
“The hotels in the city have a very low occupancy, they may say that they are at 100% occupancy, but the reality is that they are at 20% at most,” reiterated the hotel entrepreneur. “If they close some archaeological sites and the beaches, things could get worse. The few tourists who come and find out that the destinations are not open, no longer return to the Yucatan, and therefore, there is no economic spill which is very important at this point.
Many families and companies depend on tourism and the call to the decision-making authorities is to analyze the effects that the measures they apply would have. We are aware that there is a health concern, but we must not lose sight of the economic issue because it has a high impact on people’s survival ”, he lamented.
Carrillo Sáenz stated that thinking about the implementation of new restrictive measures, in addition to the three that the government announced on June 9, is thinking about a setback and that would be something very complicated for the tourism sector to overcome, and for other productive sectors too.
“If people do not die from health reasons, they will die from hunger,” he stressed. “People have to eat, the activities have to continue, if right now for different reasons there is an increase in cases, whether young people, whether it is true or not, rather than going out to find culprits, they should work on an awareness campaign in the which is promoted among young people who do not hug each other, who do not greet each other with a kiss, who keep their healthy distance and apply sanitary protocols ”, he indicated.
The leader of the Cetur reported that tourism is recovering little by little, not at the speed that businessmen would like, and in these times of pandemic those who come to Yucatan are visitors, not tourists. He says that you must differentiate between visitors and tourists. The former only come for work reasons and right now, due to the health issue, due to the increase in infections, they are also affected. And the latter come on vacation and leave an economic spill.
“The modification to the schedule (vehicular circulation is prohibited from 11:30 at night to 5 in the morning every day) does affect tourism,” he reiterated. “Those people who come for work, obviously prefer not to spend the night here because at a certain time nighttime activities end. They prefer to return that same day to their place of origin, or they reduce their visiting days. And if they come for work or to visit the cities of the peninsula, they prefer to spend the night in either of the two neighboring states (Campeche and Quintana Roo) ”.
What happens if the beaches are closed due to the increase in infections? He was asked.
“The beaches are an important part of the tourist activities and if we say that today no tourists come from abroad, when the beaches close, the same thing that happened in July and August of last year will happen, there will be no economic spill in the ports and it would be very unfortunate”, he indicated. “Entrepreneurs and inhabitants of the ports are used to the arrival of people and they have their hopes pinned on the economic spill that local tourists leave. If the ports are closed it will be a very hard blow for everyone, so it is important to analyze any measure that they apply. We must think about the economy of families, in the productive sector that is already severely hit. Nowadays we must find a way to overcome this situation, Yucatecan families can no longer endure this pandemic, we must think about how to reactivate the state economy”, the president of the Yucatan Tourism Business Council, Jorge Carrillo Sáenz concluded.
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