Thursday, May 30, 2024

Election uncertainty stalls developments: tourism chief

Uncertainty generated by the electoral process has had a negative impact on investment in Mexico’s tourism sector, the president of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said yesterday.

“Planned investments for the second half of the year have been halted because [investors] want to know what’s going to happen, they want to be certain there will be political and financial stability . . . .” Gloria Guevara Manzo said in an interview during the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association.

New hotels and new airline routes have been put on the back burner while the funds allocated to them have been diverted elsewhere, she continued, raising concerns about the continuation of the progress the national tourism industry has experienced over the last few years.

Without naming candidates’ names, Guevara asserted that if the country were to adopt a protectionist stance in its relations with the United States, the result would be a “disaster.”

“We need them and they need us. It would have an impact on tourism, on employment and would significantly increase poverty. We must be careful. It has been a recipe for disaster in countries that have established protectionist policies,” continued Guevara, who is Mexican.

Instead of going down the protectionist route, whoever wins the presidential election should forge a strong alliance with business owners and work with the private sector in order to create more jobs and encourage the industry’s and the country’s economic growth, she said.

“There’s too much at play for Mexico in this election, and it is fundamental to have the right policies.”

Opinion polls and forecasts suggest it is highly likely that the leader of the leftist Morena party, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will win the July 1 presidential election.

Originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Guevara was named president of the WTTC last August. Between 2010 and 2012, she served as secretary of tourism under president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.

Source: Notimex (sp)

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