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Sargassum on a beach near Playa del Carmen. Sargassum on a beach near Playa del Carmen. Tourism is expected to be strong despite presence of the seaweed. deposit photos

Tourism sector in Quintana Roo expects this summer will be best in 5 years

Hotel occupancy expected to exceed 85%

Hoteliers in the Riviera Maya aren’t just counting on a return to pre-pandemic levels this August. Managers of high-rise resorts, boutique hotels, all-inclusives and other properties from Cancún to Tulum are predicting it will be the best Mexican summer vacation season in five years.

The Riviera Maya Hotel Association (AHRM) is forecasting occupancies in excess of 85% at its 140 properties comprising more than 40,000 rooms. And the season is officially on. For most public schools in Mexico, the last day of classes was July 28 and the first day back is Aug. 29.

“We are seeing clear signs of recovery with the sustained rise in hotel occupancy and the influx of thousands of visitors eager to visit the Mexican Caribbean after the confinement and restrictions caused by the health emergency,” said Toni Chaves, the president of the AHRM.

Another strong sign was the data from July, which showed hotel occupancy at 80% for the full month and 84% for the July 29-31 weekend, compared to 66% for the full month of July in 2021, according to AHRM.

In coming weeks, according to AHRM estimates, nearly 60% of the visitors will be Mexican nationals.

Chaves stressed that it will be a successful season despite ongoing challenges, such as the washing up of sargassum on the beaches, a shortage of hotel personnel, and highway access and traffic problems in some areas.

As for the sargassum issue, a report in the newspaper Novedades said the beaches of Cancún registered 1,080 tonnes of the brown macroalgae in July, an increase of 260 tonnes over June.

However, the report added, it is being removed daily by approximately 180 public workers and it “is not an impediment for tourists to enjoy the beaches.” Big crowds have been hanging out at the Delfines and Coral beaches, and those are the ones where the most sargassum washes up, pointed out one coastal official.

Sargassum on the shores is most plentiful in July and August, due to the increase in temperature of the waters of the Caribbean Sea, the official added. In addition to workers on the shore collecting the seaweed, boats under the direction of the navy collect it at sea.

With reports from Reportur and Novedades

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