A US $840-million theme park based on Mayan culture will be built near Playa del Carmen in Quintana Roo.
At a ceremony held at the president’s residence in Mexico City, representatives from Grupo IUSA and Grupo Gala said the project would be built on the Caribbean coast at Punta Maroma, about 20 kilometers north of Playa del Carmen, and the first stage is expected to be completed before the end of next year.
When completed, the amusement park called “Amikoo”— which means friend in the Mayan language — will boast 24 attractions spread over a total area of 120 hectares.
The park will be built in two stages. The first will feature an archaeology and anthropology museum, a 320-room hotel, a panoramic flight simulator called “Fly over Mexico” and another simulator where passengers can take a virtual submarine journey.
A convention center, shopping area, restaurants, concert hall, an attraction called “The Pirates of Bacalar” and a wave pool are also included in the first phase, expected to be completed by November 2018.
The second stage will be built over a longer period with construction planned for 2019 and 2020.
Four amusement parks, more hotels and restaurants as well as a resort designed to take advantage of the jungle and coastal location are planned for the second stage.
Nine-thousand direct and 36,000 indirect jobs will be created by the construction and operation of the complex, Grupo IUSA president Carlos Peralta Quintero said.
He also said it was designed to be environmentally sustainable and that 85 of the site’s 120 hectares were set aside for ecological conservation.
President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke of the potential of the development.
“. . . This amusement park is going to help Mexico to continue to consolidate as a global tourism destination,” he said.
Between 4 and 4.5 million visitors are expected annually, Peña Nieto said, citing the investors’ projections.
Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid, who was also present at the announcement, said the park would help to promote the culture, history, biodiversity and gastronomy of Mexico.
Mexico is the world’s eighth most popular destination with 35 million visitors last year but de la Madrid said that if numbers continued to increase at the current rate, there was a possibility that it could rise to seventh place next year.