Hotel owners in the Riviera Maya of Quintana Roo are planning to transfer guests to properties with sargassum-free beaches so they can enjoy the white sands and turquoise waters for which the region is renowned.
The executive director of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association said the goal of the initiative is to show current and potential visitors that hoteliers are aware of the seaweed problem and are taking steps to ensure that tourists are not adversely affected.
Manuel Paredes Mendoza explained that the idea is feasible because more than 80% of hotels in the region belong to large chains that have several properties on the Quintana Roo coast.
Guests would be returned to their original hotel after the beach has been cleared of sargassum.
Speaking at an industry meeting, Paredes also said that Riviera Maya hotels are now offering guests options to partake in 160 different tourist-oriented activities and excursions that are not centered on the state’s famous beaches.
“We have to see sargassum as an opportunity to continue being competitive,” he said. “This problem isn’t local, it’s affecting 22 Caribbean countries . . .”
Conrad Bergwerf, chairman of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association, revealed that occupancy levels of hotels in the region fell to 13.2 million room nights last year from 13.6 million in 2017.
Sargassum and insecurity were the main reasons behind the downturn, he explained.
Hotel industry representatives urged the navy, which is leading efforts to combat the arrival of sargassum, to take strong action against the seasonal phenomenon.
Hoteliers said in May that government inaction had forced them to act on their own to deal with the tonnes of sargassum washing up on beaches in Quintana Roo.
While beaches in the north of Cancún as well as those on Isla Mujeres and Isla Holbox are currently not affected by large quantities of sargassum, other parts of the state’s coastline are seeing plenty of the macroalgae.
According to a report today by the Cancún sargassum monitoring network, a non-governmental organization, Tulum, Puerto Morelos, Bahía Petempich and the eastern coast of Cozumel are affected by “excessive” levels of the weed.
Playa del Carmen and other beaches between Tulum and Puerto Morelos are seeing “abundant” levels, as are Moon Palace, Cancún and Punta Nizuc.
Farther south in the state, huge quantities of sargassum that invaded the coastline last week are predicted to continue to arrive until July 12.
Source: El Economista (sp)