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A tourist train that bypasses Yucatán? A ‘big mistake.’

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Mérida, Yucatán — Tourism sector leaders repeated Thursday that it would be a mistake to build the Maya Train project without stops in Yucatán.

They also indicated that they would seek an approach to convince President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador to broaden the project.

The Cancun-Palenque tourist train route, as it stands today.

For now, the train would connect Chiapas and several stops in Campeche and Quintana Roo. Yucatán is completely bypassed.

In its current form, the train line would take six years and 64.9 billion pesos to build, according to López Obrador’s “National Project 2018-2024.” It was among AMLO’s promises when he was campaigning for national office.

Jaime Solís Garza, president of the Tourist Business Council; Héctor Navarrete Medina, president of the Mexican Association of Hotels of Yucatan; and Carol Kolozs Fischer, vice president of Tourism of the Canaco Mérida, are adamant that this is an oversight.

“Definitely, you have to include the passage of the train through Yucatán,” said Solís Garza.

For Kolozs Fischer, “it’s a big mistake” to try to take the Mayan train along a route that does not encompass Yucatán. He commented that one should not discard the archaeological sites of the entity, since tourists need to get to Valladolid and Mérida, see the colonial cities, eat well in the restaurants that are in Yucatan and visit the museums. “The train has to pass through Yucatan.”

The owner of Rosas & Xocolate said that this train could attract tourists from Cancun and the Riviera Maya. He went so far as to warn a reporter that if the train does not reach Yucatán, his future is in doubt.

For his part, Navarrete Medina indicated that the inclusion of the state is already being promoted among federal officials because Yucatán is one of Mexico’s top states in tourism and industrial growth.

In addition, he said the train could be used to also transport products, which would spread out costs. So far, the train is envisioned as strictly for passengers, while an earlier transpeninsular proposal included freight cars.

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