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Crafts sales soar, despite haggling foreign tourists

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Liquor is more popular with domestic tourists, says one Centro vendor in Mérida. Photo: 18rabbits.org

Mérida, Yucatán — Local handicrafts sold in the historic center of Mérida sell at a pace of about 50,000 pesos a day during the holiday season, according to a report in today’s Milenio Novedades.

Responding to demand, craft merchants have actually raised their prices, and will keep them higher through January.

Yamili Espinoza Chacón, who sells handicrafts and is responsible for network of kiosks and crafts shops in the Centro, said that domestic shoppers are a vendor’s favorite customer. That is because foreigners buy little, tend to haggle, and will leave if not given a discount.

She said that her crew has reached their sales goals and profits to “skyrocket” this year.

Filling the stores are items from Yucatecos who work from home, along with goods from national distributors.

Espinoza Chacón said that international visitors look for clay figures and pottery, and trinkets depicting Mayan gods. Domestic visitors tend more toward tshirts, guayaberas and spirits.

Guayaberas, which are often sold four at a time, are particularly profitable, fetching between 1,000 and 1,500 pesos.

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