Sunday, June 23, 2024

Tourism Ministry says Acapulco’s recovery going faster than expected

Acapulco’s recovery from the devastation caused by Hurricane Otis in October is going faster than expected, the head of Mexico’s Tourism Ministry (Sectur) said this week.

Miguel Torruco Marqués reported that the port city has 7,110 rooms available in 167 hotels, which exceeds the number initially expected for the first quarter of 2024 by more than 400.

President López Obrador held his morning press conference in Acapulco, highlighting the rapid recovery of the city. (Presidencia/Cuartoscuro)

It also means Acapulco is ready and able to receive tourists, as well as host major events such as the Mexican Open men’s tennis tournament next week at GNP Seguros Arena. Eleven of the Top 20 players in the world have confirmed they will take part in the Open, Torruco noted.

An even bigger upcoming event is the annual Mexican Tourist Tianguis, held last year in Mexico City, which promotes Mexican tourism and products. The 48th edition is scheduled for April 10 to 12 at Acapulco’s Expo Mundial Imperial convention center, where more than 900 companies and properties will exhibit their offerings.

Tourist professionals from 33 nations have signed up so far, Torruco said, noting that 500 buyers will be there, including at least 125 from beyond Mexico’s shores, a number he expects to grow.

There was concern there wouldn’t be enough hotel rooms to host the trade fair — or visitors during Easter Week, March 24-31 — but at least 8,000 rooms will be available by then, said Santos Ramírez Cuevas, tourism minister for the state of Guerrero.

Ramírez said that the 19,000 rooms that were available before Hurricane Otis could be available again in the final quarter of 2024, and he stressed that many of them will be refurbished or completely rebuilt — and thus more attractive to tourists.

Government institution Financiera para el Bienestar has helped, Ramírez added, by issuing very low interest loans, payable in two years. He said currently 103 hotels have received a line of credit.

Torruco said 24 large-scale events are confirmed for Acapulco for this year, from the International Mariachi Festival, to a beach soccer tournament, to Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide wrestling events.

Those events alone are expected to bring in more than 38,000 tourists, and with cruise ship connectivity now fully operational once again, the cruise calendar will bring in even more, he added.

The president also oversaw the unloading of more than 3,000 fridges from China, part of a public aid package provided to households by the government. (Presidencia/Cuartoscuro)

To tout Acapulco’s quick recovery, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador held his Thursday morning press conference (mañanera) in the city, before moving to a Navy pier to supervise the unloading of 3,234 refrigerators from China.

The government has now delivered 190,750 packages of household goods to families affected by the hurricane, with 59,520 more on their way, Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said. He added that 41,464 refrigerators and 18,742 stoves have been or will be given out.

To speed up distribution, a large collection center was built,  along with three smaller warehouses and 10 delivery points. It is hoped that all goods will be distributed by the end of this month, Cresencio said.

Amidst the positive recovery news, Acapulco is experiencing a “growing wave of violence,” according to Milenio newspaper. On Valentine’s Day this week, four people, including two municipal police officers, were killed by gunfire.

With reports from La Jornada and Milenio

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