Hotel occupancy on the Caribbean coast of Mexico fell 76% in a week as a result of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the region’s tourism and transportation industries.
Quintana Roo Tourism Minister Marisol Vanegas Pérez announced Sunday night that hotel occupancy had fallen to just 32% in marked contrast to as recently as March 15, when hotels in Cancún, Tulum and elsewhere on Mexico’s Caribbean coast were 82% full.
The region went from 332,000 visitors to just 80,000 in a week.
Vanegas said that the Cancún International Airport is still open to both foreign visitors in Mexico wanting to get home and new tourists arriving in the region, though obviously much fewer than normal. The airport was scheduled to see 330 international flights on Sunday.
“These flights could have delays,” Vanegas told Sunday’s press conference. “We are going to have a lot of people for whom we will need to find rooms in low-cost hotels. We have a total of 15 low-cost hotels, but we’ve also got shelters for people who don’t have the means [to stay in a hotel].”
She did not give the locations or contact information of the hotels or shelters set aside for tourists with postponed flights.
She also spoke about Governor Carlos Joaquín González’s Tourism Recovery Plan, which he presented on March 19. The agreement with hotels and other tourism-sector businesses stipulates that they not lay off workers so that when the pandemic passes, the region will have the workforce ready to relaunch the tourism-based economy.
“All of these talks are going on with the private sector, so that everyone can be certain that they will have a job,” she said.
Nevertheless, there are unofficial reports of layoffs in hotels and other businesses due to the drastic decrease in tourists and the economic impossibility of companies to retain all of their employees.
Source: El Universal (sp)