Tourism appears to be rebounding in Baja California Sur (BCS).
Luis Humberto Araiza of the state’s Ministry of Tourism, Economy and Sustainability (Setues) says that BCS will close out the year with three million tourists, around 70% of the number of visitors the state saw in 2019.
Araiza said that Setues had projected that the national market would be the first tourism sector to recover. However, he was surprised to see that it was the luxury sector that came back first, BCS Noticias reports.
Araiza said travelers feel comfortable returning to BCS due to all the safety regulations and health certificates held by businesses in the state’s destinations. More than 500 companies have obtained “Clean Point” certifications from the federal Ministry of Tourism, more than any other state, he said.
“The change in the Covid-19 [risk level] stoplight has allowed more visitors to arrive through more flights, which has generated more reservations. There is optimism for Baja California Sur …” he said.
“Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, Baja California Sur is consolidating itself as a safe and reliable destination, thanks to the actions and sanitary measures that we have taken together with the tourism sector to protect the health of both visitors and those who live here.”
As of Thursday, BCS had recorded 11,900 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, which has killed 577 people.
Officials warn that bars and restaurants that hold Halloween or Day of the Dead parties this year run the risk of being shut down after celebrations of both holidays were canceled in the state.
With tourists returning to the region as it moves into high season, authorities want to make sure that another outbreak of the coronavirus does not occur.
Authorities will be particularly vigilant in Cabo San Lucas, where large costume parties are a tradition this time of year, and will be conducting security and surveillance patrols downtown, Metropolimx reports.
Bisbee’s Black & Blue underway
The world’s richest fishing tournament wraps up Friday after three days of fishing. Thus far no qualifying marlin has been caught, meaning that whoever catches the largest black or blue marlin over 300 pounds today stands a chance to go home with a serious chunk of the US $4.6 million purse, the largest ever.
This year, 127 teams are participating in the tournament, and just 15 of the boats belong to locals. The rest are from elsewhere in Mexico or other parts of the world, mainly the United States, BCS Noticias reports.
“All those that come from the United States or other states of the republic come with their family and obviously spend money on plane tickets … hotel rooms, breakfasts, meals,” said tournament coordinator Clicerio Mercado, noting that in fishermen alone the Bisbee’s has drawn 790 people to Cabo San Lucas who normally spend around US $12 million.
The largest fish ever caught in the tournament was a 993-pound blue marlin in 1994.
Cabeños celebrate beach access decree
After President López Obrador published a decree on Wednesday guaranteeing free access to beaches in Mexico, residents of Los Cabos cheered the new law which can levy fines of more than 1 million pesos against anyone who block paths to the beach.
For years local residents have battled with hotels and developers who block access with impunity, most recently in Puerto Los Cabos where the El Ganzo hotel has fenced off and padlocked the gate to a beach access path, outraging locals.
Beach access has also been blocked in Buenavista in recent days and is a daily occurrence in Cabo San Lucas where a hotel fences off a portion of El Médano beach, Diario El Independiente reports.
Los Cabos councilor Tabita Rodríguez Morales says that nearly 200 beaches in the municipality have their accesses blocked, and she hopes the decree will open them to the public.
“There are practically 192 closed accesses to beaches along the entire coastline, from Migriño to Buenavista, and when the municipal authority has taken action, the developers use legal arguments to continue to violate the regulations and municipal development plans,” she said.
“Citizens in the country will have this tool that will mark a watershed in the defense of our public beaches [and] free access.”
Traffic tickets discounted
For those who enjoy speeding, driving without a seatbelt or other minor infractions, the police in La Paz have good news. Until the end of the year, traffic fines will be discounted by 70%. The savings is not applicable to those who are ticketed for using their cell phones while driving, driving drunk or parking in handicapped zones, El Informante BCS reports.
Citizens are not encouraged to violate the law, but rather to take care of any outstanding fines they may have during the reprieve.
Mexico News Daily