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Santa Ana park to host a free ‘alternative tianguis turìstico’ 

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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.
Monument to Andres Quintana Roo in Sanata Ana Park. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Tour guides in Mérida are preparing to host an alternative “Tianguis Turistico” in Santa Ana.

The Tianguis Turístico Alternativo, will be held from Nov. 16 through 19 —  concurrent with Mexico’s most important tourism trade show, the Tianguis Turístico Mexico.

The event is being organized primarily by Yucatán’s tour guide cooperative with the support of Mérida’s city government and will take place in the evenings, from 6 to 11 p.m. 

But unlike the main event held at Yucatán’s International Convention Center, the alternative event will be open to the public with no admission fees in Santa Ana Park. 

In comparison, to be admitted to the Tianguis Turístico Mexico, it is necessary to register in advance and pay US$200. 

Tourism officials and industry leaders say they are confident that with the right strategy Yucatán can recover the ground it has lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht  

“The idea is to open the event up to everyone and help spread the word about alternative tourism destinations,” said José Francisco González Hernández of Yucatán’s tour guide cooperative.

Yucatán’s largest tourism attractions, including Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, and Progreso, have already shown strong signs of recovery, after an unprecedented decrease in tourism caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Earlier: Fake travel agency scams on the rise in Mexico

However, other less well-known tourist attractions such as independently-run cenotes, and smaller archaeological sites like Mayapán are having a much harder time attracting visitors. 

The Tianguis Turístico Alternativo will also place an important emphasis on rural tourism and sustainability as well as on Yucatán’s rich culinary tradition. 

The “official” Tianguis Turístico is Mexico’s largest tourism industry trade show and will bring together representatives from the country’s 32 states as well as buyers from 70 countries.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been disastrous for Yucatán’s Tourism sector which in 2019 welcomed 3.2 million visitors. In 2020 the number dropped to approximately 750,000, mainly domestic tourists, according to Yucatán’s Observatorio Turistico.

“Yucatán really has it all. Incredible attractions, history, cuisine, and a vibrant culture. The challenges we have had to face are unprecedented, but I have no doubt that with some smarts and hard work, Yucatán’s tourism industry will bounce back stronger than ever,” said Michelle Fridman Hirsch, Yucatán’s secretary of tourism. 

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