Riviera Maya hotels won’t raise their rates during the end-of-year vacation period in a bid to attract more tourists from Canada and the United States.
Riviera Maya Hotel Association vice president Andrea Lotito said the price-hike embargo will remain in place for more than 46,000 hotel rooms until June next year as part of a strategy to boost visitor numbers to Mexico’s Caribbean coast.
Insecurity and the annual arrival of sargassum have damaged the region’s image, she said.
“. . . It’s difficult to attract tourists from the United States and Canada precisely . . . due to the negative publicity,” Lotito said.
She added that the rise in popularity of vacation rentals (on sites such as Airbnb) have also hurt the Quintana Roo hotel industry.
Hotels have been seeing lower occupancy levels in most destinations in 2019.
Mexican Hotel and Motel Association (AMHM) president Juan José Fernández Carillo said on Wednesday that the outbreak of violence in Culiacán, Sinaloa, triggered by an operation to catch one of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s sons and other violent acts elsewhere in the country have given Mexico a bad name.
Speaking at the AMHM national meeting in Tampico, Tamaulipas, he claimed that international security perceptions of Mexico are on a par with countries that are at war.
“That’s why national and foreign tourists don’t travel. The decline in [hotel] occupancy in all destinations . . . doesn’t just affect hotel owners but also businesses and [service] providers that live off tourism. The federal government is responsible for security and must improve it,” Fernández said.
The hotel association chief also said that hotel owners are also struggling due to the downturn in the economy and high electricity prices.
“There are hotels that paid 300,000 pesos before but this year [electricity] increased to 1.2 million pesos. They can’t invest or promote themselves because the services [they have to pay] are expensive.”