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Friday, July 30, 2021

$4 flights are signs of the travel industry’s desperation

Battle against COVID is at odds with tourism sector's efforts to survive

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Several airlines and hotels have been cutting prices in hopes to get the tourism industry moving again. Photo: File

Faced with a deluge of challenges, Mexican airlines, hotels and resort destinations have slashed prices in hopes to attract domestic travelers.

Tougher international travel regulations have made domestic travel more important than ever for Mexico’s tourism and hospitality industries. 

Budget airline tickets from Mexico City to Mérida or Cancun were as low as US$4, before all the normal fees and taxes, on Thursday morning.

Screen captures from the websites of Viva Aerobus and Volaris.

Several hotels across the peninsula have also begun offering heavily discounted accommodations and all-inclusive packages. Authorities have warned against a growing number of fake travel agencies that are exploiting the situation to defraud customers on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.  

Price-cutting strategies may ultimately do more harm than good, as increased airline traffic and mobility, in general, are likely to accelerate the rate of COVID-19 infections, suggests tourism industry expert Teresa Solís.

This intuition is backed up by data that correlates higher COVID-19 fatality rates with parts of the country where tourism is a major industry. 

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