Thursday, June 20, 2024

Pandemic erases hopes for summer tourism rebound

Tourism projections for the remainder of 2020 are grim as Mexico will lose the summer tourist season due to the coronavirus pandemic, says Braulio Arsuaga Losada, president of the National Tourism Business Council (CNET).

While some destinations were reopened with hotel occupancy limited to 30%, others remain closed to visitors and are under the red light classification on the federal government’s coronavirus “stoplight” map, indicating maximum risk.

“We are far from the numbers we had the previous year in this season and it will be very difficult for December, even more so if we return to a red light as states such as Guerrero are planning to do,” he said in an interview with the newspaper Excélsior.

Arsuaga said that during March, April and May the tourism sector lost 500 billion pesos (US $22.5 billion), and it is estimated that a total approaching 1.6 trillion pesos (nearly US $72.6 billion) could be lost this year due to a 48% decline in tourism.

In past years, tourism has contributed nearly 9% to Mexico’s gross domestic product. 

Arsuaga said he is hopeful that 55% of expected visitors will return by December, but the future in Mexico and throughout the world is uncertain. 

In order to combat the gloomy tourist numbers, CNET has joined the Emerging National Alliance for Tourism, formed in conjunction with the National Conference of Governors (Conago) and joined by the Union of Ministers of Tourism (Asetur), the National Conference of Municipalities (Conamm), the Association of Mexican Banks (ABM), the Confederation of Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism (Concanaco-Servytur), and senators on the tourism commission.

The alliance hopes to come up with a series of policies and actions to revive the industry.  

“It is a plan made to complement the National Development Plan in the tourism sector and try to get out of this crisis with the least damage,” Arsuaga said.

CNET’s guiding principles include safeguarding the health of tourists and workers in the tourism industry; reopening and relaunching tourist destinations to protect jobs; safety for tourists and tourism communities; innovation and competitiveness; improving connectivity and entry into the country; implementation of tourism promotion strategies; and the generation of legislative proposals to encourage tourism. 

So far, the Minister of Tourism (Sectur), Miguel Torruco, has not signed on to the alliance, but CNET has presented a proposal and meetings have been held. 

Source: Dinero en Imagen (sp)

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