Busy beach in Guerrero. Busy beach in Guerrero.

Lack of clarity seen in tourism spending

New campaign announced for Acapulco after hotel occupancy rate drops 1.4%

The decline in tourist numbers in Acapulco for the current summer vacation season has been slight, but it was enough to alarm the state government and trigger an “aggressive” national and international TV and radio promotional campaign.

Governor Héctor Astudillo Flores and Tourism Secretary Ernesto Rodríguez Escalona announced the new spending when they revealed hotel occupancy figures for the state’s three main destinations, Acapulco, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Taxco, for the first weekend of the vacation period, which officially started July 18.

Taxco recorded an increase of over 5% over the same period last year with 48% hotel occupancy, while Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo reached almost 81%, an increase of 4.

On the other hand, Acapulco’s occupancy rate was down, though only by 1.4% to 68.3.

Rodríguez said occupancy was expected to reach 70% and that the resort city would welcome one million visitors and revenue of 4 billion pesos (US $227 million) during the season.

He said estimates remain unchanged despite the reduced capacity of the highway from Mexico City due to the sinkhole on the Cuernavaca Paso Express. It appears to have had little effect on visitor numbers and no hotel reservations were canceled as a result of the accident.

After the announcement of the new tourism promotion campaign, for which no budget was revealed, Deputies in the state Congress accused the Astudillo administration of handling Guerrero’s tourism spending with a lack of clarity.

When the deputies asked the Tourism Secretary how much money would be invested in the campaign, Rodríguez was unable to answer, saying he didn’t have the exact figure at hand.

That brought a rebuke from the president of the congressional tourism commission, who accused the administration of unaccounted spending on tourist promotion.

Deputy Ernesto Fidel González Pérez declared Rodríguez must report on the funds allocated to the new campaign, as well as others.

“We do not know how much has been invested so far in the promotion of Acapulco, either at the national or the international level . . . we need to know the expenses, in which cities in Mexico and abroad they have invested,” said the deputy.

He said the congressional commission has repeatedly requested expense information from the Tourism Secretary but without results.

He added that 90 million pesos ($5.1 million) have been allocated so far for the promotion of Acapulco, but there is no information about how the funds have been used, or the results of the investment.

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

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