Home NewsPeninsulaBeach Communities Trouble over illegal tour operators in Yucatán

Trouble over illegal tour operators in Yucatán

by Yucatan Times
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The year 2024 began with a conflict due to tourism service providers operating illegally in Río Lagartos, Yucatán, denounced a group that dedicated to the same activity but that does abide by the provisions established for the sector.

They accuse unfair competition and the operation of tourist boats that work irregularly, has caused disagreement to grow in the port among service providers.

The problem worsened in this last season, considered a high one for the tourism sector because several boats worked without official permits, that is, they operated illegally in Río Lagartos, Yucatán. This caused those who are legally working to explode in anger.

Even staff from the Secretary of Tourism Development (Sefotur) and the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (Conanp) led two meetings last November.

In these meetings, the tourism service providers asked the authorities to intervene in the regulation of the boats since several operate without permits, outside the law.

They also expressed their disagreement with the tour guides who harass visitors at the entrance to the port, cutting off access to tourists so they can look for other alternatives they have with the other cooperatives that are established on the boardwalk.

In addition, it was announced that there are boats that work without safety measures for tourists and, worst of all, without insurance for travelers in the event of any accident, which is why they required constant supervision by the staff in charge to stop unfair competition.

According to tourism providers, less than 50% of the boats are up to date with their official permits, while the majority only have the tourism registration issued by the port captain’s office, which allows them to carry out the activity.

However, they allege that it is unfair since there are tourist groups that have invested around 18 thousand pesos per boat to comply with the regulations required by Conanp and the port captain.

They point out that to have the right to travel and take trips in the estuary, all service providers must have their permits in order, however when there have been inspections they have been allowed to pass, there are not even reprimands.

The latest thing that has generated unrest in the union is the presence of a couple of Italians who are operating with boats covering for another person by lending their names. The worst thing is that the boats also do not have their current permits, that is, as illegal tour operators in Yucatan.

The foreign couple who already live in the port have had conflicts with the service providers because they are taking over the agencies that have agreements with Italian tourists. According to the tourism service providers, it was agreed that at the beginning of the year, measures would be taken to regularize boats that do not have permits, but so far they have not done so.

TYT Newsroom

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