Tourists in Quintana Roo will have more time on the beach, spend more money in restaurants and have more time for excursions and tours beginning tomorrow when the clocks change to a new time zone.
Tourist businesses and authorities are welcoming the change, in which clocks will move forward one hour, because it will make the state more competitive with other tourist destinations, putting it in the same time zone as the eastern seaboard of the United States.
The Southeast Zone will be Mexico’s fourth time zone and equivalent to Eastern Time in the U.S.
A state business group began the campaign for the change two years ago, initially arguing for a two-hour change. But in the end two hours was seen as being too drastic, said Cristina Alcayaga, one of the people behind the initiative. Final approval came in December from the federal Chamber of Deputies.
When Quintana Roo residents change their clocks tonight — the official change takes place at 2:00am — it will be the last time they do so. The time will remain the same throughout the year, without clock changes in the spring or fall.
Tourism and energy consumption will see the biggest impact from the change. Improved interconnection times will be seen with eight airports in Canada and 22 in the U.S., said federal Deputy Graciela Saldaña.
Consumers, particularly in the hotels sector, are expected to see energy cost reductions totaling up to 150 million pesos a month (about US $10 million), according to Federal Electricity Commission calculations.
The new time zone does have its detractors. The municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, located in the Maya region of the state, is very much against the plan, and marches in protest are being held this week.
“The new time zone is a lie,” say signs on some schools and homes, in a region where residents go about their business on natural light and natural time, respecting the customs of the Maya, reports El Universal.
Source: El Universal (sp)