The archaeological site of Chichén Itzá is at risk of losing its standing as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World because of the hundreds of souvenir venders, many unlicensed, and who have been accused of pressuring visitors.
Sergio Gonzalez Rubiera, Cancun chief of the Mexican Association of Travel Agencies (AMAV), said the New Seven Wonders organization warned the government that if it does not solve the issue of street vendors in the area, the ancient Mayan site could forfeit the title it earned in 2007.
The New Seven Wonders foundation, based in Switzerland, included the site out of 200 existing monuments after conducting a poll. On this short list, Chichén Itza is in fine company: Among the other modern wonders are the Great Wall of China and Egypt’s Pyramid of Giza.
The AMAV all along had expressed its concern that an overabundance of vendors detracted from the iconic pyramid and its surrounding structures.
“It is a fact that the government has failed to solve the problem because so far there is no reaction from the state government,” said Gonzalez Rubiera.
While 600 permits have been granted to street vendors, authorities admit that figure has been exceeded for years. Over 1,000 vendors are estimated to be hawking their goods on the grounds of Chichén Itzá.
Chichán Itzá attracted over 2 million visitors last year.
Sources: El Economista, Wikipedia