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Progreso lists improvements for both tourists and foreign residents

Expanding Calle 80's amenities to a side street, reviving the artisan fair, among the plans

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A quiet block in Progreso is a proposed tourist zone. Photo: Google

Progreso, Yucatan — Improvements to the port city’s tourist zone are in the works.

The artisan fair on Calle 80 will be revived and a forlorn side street next to it will be converted into a tourist passage, said Manuel Rosado Heredia, municipal director of Tourism. The artisan fair had been displaced by the previous administration, when a short-lived casino opened there.

The new tourist passage, Calle 23 between Calle 80 and 78, is adjacent to some of the city’s most visible off-beach shops and restaurants.

The announcement is in addition to a master plan announced by the state tourism department, which is intent on lifting Progreso’s appeal to cruise ship passengers.

Chamber of Commerce President Roberto Sánchez González said that the authorities must elaborate a plan to attend not only to cruise ship tourists, but to all visitors and residents.

“Progreso has tourism potential,” said Sánchez González, who also proposed:

  • Uniforms should be provided to service providers.
  • Standardized fees for services such as banana boats and massages.
  • The annual triathlon should be called Triathlon Progreso-Merida, not just Triathlon Merida.

Progreso is a destination for not just cruise ships, but also for local and national visitors who arrive during summer vacation.

And he also noted the special appeal of Progreso, Chicxulub, Chelem and Chuburna to hundreds of Canadians who spend their winter holidays here.

“In the winter period, about 7,000 (foreigners, largely Canadians) arrive,” he said. They join about 2,000 more who live here year-round.

Tourists and residents deserve better public services, such as garbage collection and street cleaning, he continued. Reliable water service has also been a recurring problem along the Gulf coast.

The city’s mayor has created a special police squad devoted strictly to litter and illegal dumping.

Progreso’s shortcomings have been frustrating to tourism promoters who watch as cruise ship passengers bypass the port city for excursions elsewhere.

Even Michelle Fridman, the state’s own secretary of tourism promotion, declared on Jan. 31 that Progreso needs so much work, it would be easier to level it all and rebuild it.

Meanwhile, yesterday’s arrival of the Carnival Fantasy was canceled at the last minute by the shipping company that operates it.

The ship sailed from Mobile, Ala., on Tuesday, but adverse weather conditions has forced it to change course.

So this week, only two cruise ships arrive: Tuesday’s Carnival Triumph and the Carnival Valor today.

With information from Diario de Yucatan.

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