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A sargassum-free beach in Veracruz. A sargassum-free beach in Veracruz.

Quintana Roo sargassum is a boon for Veracruz tourism

Occupancy is higher than average for Veracruz-Boca del Río hotels

One man’s bane is another man’s boon. While businesses and governments in Quintana Roo despair at the arrival thousands of tonnes of sargassum their counterparts in Veracruz are cautiously celebrating the phenomenon, for it appears to have encouraged a higher-than-average number of visitors to the state’s beaches this summer.

Sergio Lois Heredia, president of the Veracruz-Boca del Río Hotels Association, said hotels on the state’s coast have seen 73% average occupancy during the last two weeks, 13 points above what was expected.

He said the increased number of visitors is almost certainly due to the presence of sargassum in Quintana Roo.

“Because of the Caribbean’s problem with sargassum, we think that many people are analyzing other tourist destinations instead of the Caribbean, and the news is out that Acapulco’s beaches are very polluted. We must take advantage [of this situation] and give our best so that [tourists] recommend us and feel like coming back.”

The association president said he expected hotel occupancy to remain at 70% for the remainder of the season. He added that a radio, television and social media campaign by the Secretariat of Tourism featuring Veracruz’s gastronomic, natural and cultural offerings may also have accounted for the recent uptick in tourism.

Source: Al Calor Político (sp), El Universal (sp)

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