Baja California will likely have 17 new hotels by 2019, adding 1,300 more rooms to the existing inventory of 22,674, although there are concerns that the state’s infrastructure isn’t adequate to accommodate the increased flow of tourism.
The hotel projects were announced by the state Secretariat of Tourism although it said only seven of those have been confirmed: three are in Tijuana, two in Ensenada and one each in Mexicali and Rosarito.
According to state financial data, the investment per project could range between 200 million and 280 million pesos.
The state currently has 596 hotels, 556 restaurants and coffee shops and 8,500 bars and nightclubs.
Tourism analyst Roberto Valero thinks the state doesn’t need more buildings, but instead a broader offering of leisure and related infrastructure.
Valero acknowledged that while the tourism industry in the state has recently seen an improvement, the real increase has been registered in seasonal tourists, such as those visiting during the Easter Week break. “[Occupancy] rises only to fall again soon after,” he said.
“According to federal Tourism Secretariat data,” Valero explained, “destinations like Mexicali, Tecate and San Felipe are among those with the lowest occupancy rates in the country. The situation in Tijuana is different: occupancy rates are high there because the city caters to business tourism.”
He also mentioned the case of Ensenada, where the biggest issue is the availability of water. “Hotels are great consumers of water, and building more should be carefully assessed.”
Valero believes a new water desalinization plant that is scheduled to begin operating next year “will not be enough.”
In Tijuana, the Hyatt Hotel’s general manager feels the city does indeed need more hotel rooms because tourism are on the rise, particularly for business and medical tourism.
The hotel, whose market is 60% U.S. visitors and 40% domestic, has experienced 20% growth between 2015 and 2016.
Still, Tijuana needs more rooms, said Baltazar Pille. “More four and five-star hotels. The city could use them. There’s a top-level convention center that’s gone underused because there aren’t enough quality hotel rooms available . . .”
“There’s a sports stadium and the artisanal beer scene, too. The airport offers great and growing connectivity. [And] just being a few miles away from San Diego is an advantage,” said the hotelier.
Source: Zeta Tijuana (sp)