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A sargassum-free beach in the Riviera Maya. A sargassum-free beach in the Riviera Maya.

Weather gives Quintana Roo relief from sargassum; hopes high for tourism

The number of beaches with excessive quantities is less than half what it was last week

Weather conditions have brought some relief from sargassum for the Quintana Roo coastline, which has seen massive amounts of the seaweed in recent months.

Tropical waves 21 and 22 and the approach of cold front No. 62 have caused sargassum to drift away from the beaches of the Caribbean coast state.

In the north of Quintana Roo, just seven locations were affected by excessive amounts of the weed yesterday, according to the Cancún sargassum monitoring network.

The affected beaches were Punta Piedra, Tulum Ruinas, Tankah, Royalton Riviera, Moon Palace, Riviera Cancún and Playa Coral.

Most of the east coast of Cozumel was also still affected by excessive amounts of sargassum.

The sargassum monitoring network's map as of Sunday morning.
The sargassum monitoring network’s map as of Sunday morning.

However, the total number of locations given a red light under the monitoring network’s four-tier “traffic light” system – 14 – was less than half last week’s peak of 33.

Network chief Esteban Amaro predicted that cold front No. 62 will continue to hinder the arrival of large quantities of sargassum until at least the end of the week.

Despite the seasonal phenomenon, the Quintana Roo Secretariat of Tourism is still predicting that 3.8 million tourists will visit the state during the summer holiday period.

Almost 1.47 million people are forecast to vacation in Cancún, which would represent a 1.4% increase on 2018 numbers, while 1.67 tourists are expected in the Riviera Maya, which would be 2.7% more than last year.

Tourism is expected to bring more than US $3.2 billion into the state during the summer holiday season, which would be 3.4% higher than the same period last year.

Tourism Secretary Marisol Vanegas Pérez said the government is confident that the forecasts will be accurate because airlines have confirmed that flights to Cancún will be full throughout the summer.

The Riviera Maya Hotels Association reported last week an average occupancy rate of 82% during the first six months of 2019, which president Conrad Bergwerf described as “positive.”

Apart from sargassum, insecurity in Quintana Roo and the absence of international promotion because of the disbanding of the Tourism Promotion Council are causes for concern among hotel owners and other tourism sector stakeholders.

Source: El Economista (sp) 

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