Archaeological Tourism in Yucatan grows 44%, INAH says

Photo: (Yucatan a la mano)

Mérida, Yucatan, (September 07, 2021).- Archaeological tourism increased in Yucatán by 44 percent, during the first eight months of the year, however, the growth must have been greater due to the fact that Dzibilchaltún has been closed for just over two months, revealed the National Institute of Anthropology and History. (INAH)

So far this year, Chichén Itzá has become the most visited archaeological zone in the country, for the third consecutive month, while Dzibilchaltún remains in the eleventh place of tourist influx, due to the closure of the site by the Ejidatarios Chablekal community of Mérida.

In the second four-month period of 2021, in Yucatan, archaeological and museum tourism continued to rise, with the arrival of 1.2 million walkers to sites of interest open to the public, while at the national level it is below the total of registered influx from January to August 2020.

Only in August, the second-highest number of affluence of the last 20 months was registered, with an increase of 44.2 percent, compared to the second four-month period of the previous year.

Unfortunately, for 17 months, 10 archaeological zones in the state have been closed due to the pandemic, and so far the date of reopening of these sites is still unknown, as the third wave of Covid-19 contagion prevails in the country, in addition to the fact that Yucatán is on a yellow traffic light.

In the first eight months of the year, in Yucatán, 1.2 million people visited the seven archaeological zones open to the public and the Museum.

July was the month with the highest influx during the current year, followed by August, and the figure is expected to increase with the reopening of the other areas of archaeological monuments.

According to the INAH, in the second four months of the year, three million 788 thousand 928 people entered the country’s museums and archaeological zones, a figure that is 44.5 percent lower than the same period in 2020, when the sum was six million 411 thousand 581 tourists, corresponding to the first quarter since in March of that year, the sites closed due to the contingency established by Covid-19.

Of the total number of visitors, 3,245,178 went to pre-Columbian cities and 543,750 entered the museums.

Also, of the total number of visitors, 2,437,894 were national tourists, 64.34 percent, and 1,351,034 were foreigners, 35.66 percent.

As a result of the pandemic, only seven of the 17 archaeological sites are open to the public in Yucatán.

At the national level, as of last June, Chichén Itzá is the most visited archaeological site with 996,485 visitors, 30.7 percent of the total, followed by Tulum, with 635,372 tourists, 19.58 percent, and Teotihuacan with 435,188 people, 13.41 percent.

Only in these three sites, 63.7 percent of the total archaeological tourism arrived, that is, two out of every three visitors established the INAH through its electronic page.

While Uxmal was located in seventh national place, with 3.07 percent of the national total; Ek’Balam is in eighth place, 1.75 percent; Dzibilchaltún is eleventh with 0.81 percent, and Mayapán, in the twelfth position, with 0.78 percent; Izamal comes in 19th place, with 0.54 percent, and Xkambó, in 22nd place, with 0.44 percent.

After the appearance of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the Covid-19 disease in the Mexican Republic, it was decided to close the 193 archaeological zones open to the public as well as the 162 museums in the country, on the last week of March 2020, and these sites began to open gradually in September of the same year, although many of these places remain closed.

In the specific case of Yucatán, given the contingency by Covid-19, from January to August this year, the arrival of archaeological tourism and museums adds up to 1,250,743, which is 44.2 percent higher compared to the same period last year, when there were 857,124 tourists who arrived in the state.

Of the total number of visitors, one million 236 thousand 183 went to the areas of archaeological monuments and 14 thousand 560 people entered the Regional Museum of Anthropology and History “Palacio Cantón”, which occupied the ninth national place in influx, 2.68 percent of the total of the country.

Likewise, of the total number of walkers, 620,927 were nationals, 49.6 percent, and 629,816 foreigners, 50.4 percent.

80.6 percent of archaeological tourism went to Chichén Itzá, followed by Uxmal, with 99 thousand 580 people, 8.1 percent; Ek’Balam, with 56 thousand 794 passers-by, 4.6 percent, and Dzibilchaltún, with 26 thousand 402 tourists, 2.1 percent.

Likewise, Mayapán, with 25,161 visitors, two percent; Izamal, with 17 thousand 560 passers-by, 1.42 percent, and Xkambó, with 14 thousand 201 admissions, 1.15 percent.

After the closure of the sites as a result of the Covid-19, on March 23, 2020, 10 pre-Hispanic cities and sites of interest are still not open to tourism, specifically, Acanceh, Aké, Chacmultún, Grutas de Balamcanché, Grutas de Loltún, Kabah, Labná, Oxkintok, Sayil, and Xlapac.

The Yucatan Times
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