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Azcárraga: the government has not listened. Azcárraga: the government has not listened.

Tourism sector worried as government disbands marketing agency

Its 5 billion pesos in annual funding will be diverted to build the Maya Train

Worries in the travel industry that the new government would eliminate its tourism promotion agency came to fruition today.

Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco confirmed that the Tourism Promotion Council (CPTM) would be disbanded and its international offices closed.

Its annual budget of approximately 6 billion pesos (US $295 million) will fund construction of the Maya Train, he said.

Tourism industry leaders have been warning authorities that a reduction in promotional spending will lead to an eventual decline in tourist numbers.

President López Obrador had said the train would be partially funded by the DNR tourist tax, which generates up to 5 billion pesos a year. Today the tourism secretary said the entire amount would be allocated to the tourism-oriented passenger train that will run between Cancún and Palenque.

Pablo Azcárraga, head of the National Tourism Business Council, lamented this week that the private sector does not have the ear of the government. It did not hear the council’s concerns over cancellation of the new Mexico City airport and now it has ignored proposals regarding tourism marketing, he said.

Azcárraga is now asking Tourism Secretary Torruco to advise businesses what measures will be taken to prevent a collapse of visitor numbers.

Source: El Universal (sp), El Financiero (sp)

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