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Fireflies at the Santuario de las Luciérnagas. Fireflies at the Santuario de las Luciérnagas.

Tlaxcala prepares to welcome visitors for firefly viewing season

The sanctuary will operate at 30% capacity with reservations required

The firefly sanctuary in Nanacamilpa, Tlaxcala, will reopen this season at 30% capacity, after viewings were canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Twenty-six of the 30 viewing centers will welcome visitors from June 18 to August 15, where millions of luminescent insects will put on a dazzling display of lights at dusk.

In 2019 some 127,000 tourists flocked to the sanctuary, located around 80 kilometers east of Mexico City, and 34,000 are expected to attend this year.

Visitors must have a reservation to attend and prices could be as much as 400 pesos (US $20) due to high demand and restrictions on capacity.

The viewing season is expected to bring in 15 million pesos (US $746,000), generate around 800 jobs directly and 400 indirectly.

The president of the Association of Firefly Sanctuaries, Miguel Díaz Castro, has assured the state government of its commitment to operate in strict compliance with the biosecurity measures established by the World Health Organization.

He says staff have received training from state health authorities.

The cancellation last year meant an approximate loss of 48 million pesos to local tour operators and tourism-related businesses.

Tourism Minister Anabel Alvarado Varela said at the time that the cancellation would help the sanctuary come back even stronger by allowing the fireflies to reproduce unhindered by the distraction of visitors.

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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