75.2 F
Mérida
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
###

Small businesses hurt by big cuts at tourism board

Independent operators left stranded after Mexico decimates its tourism promotion program

Latest headlines

New benches at ancient archaeological site anger Izamal residents

Modern slab benches detract from an ancient ruin at Izamal, neighbors say. Photo: Courtesy Modern-looking benches installed at...

Being a good neighbor to Yucatán’s roof cats and street dogs

Illustration: Juan Pablo Quintal García Cats replaced people as my friends soon after quarantine 2020 began. 

What my rescue dogs taught me

I thought I knew a lot about dogs until I took in two rescues. I was wrong....

Bus full of construction workers catches fire in Mérida’s north

A bus went up in flames just before 8 this morning in Mérida’s Francisco de Montejo neighborhood.
Yucatán Magazine
Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week.
Small tour operators, like this sport-fishing company in Cancun, are feeling the brunt of the cutbacks at the Mexico Tourism Board. Photo: Facebook

Cenotes, cultural sites and adventure tours are feeling the pain from the government’s drastic cuts at the Mexico Tourism Board.

While major destinations such as Cancun still get some marketing support from large hotels and resorts, independent tour operators in smaller destinations are especially challenged, reports Skift.

Tulum, Mexico’s only Mayan archaeological site built on the waterfront, is especially suffering, said city native Manuel Rodriguez, whose scuba tours went from boom to bust.

Now Rodriguez travels to international tourism fairs, including those in Berlin, Spain, and London, on his own to promote his company with videos, postcards, and posters.

“It is sad what is happening,” he said.

The Mexico Tourism Board shuttered all but four of its 21 international offices and slashed marketing budgets under orders from President Andreas Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office Dec. 1. Tourism funds will go toward the Mayan Train instead.

“This is the worst I’ve seen in 15 years,” Rodriguez said. “There is no plan or action on how to promote all of the different things. They are doing absolutely nothing.”

Multiple tour operators interviewed by Skift, a travel news site, echoed Rodriguez’s sentiments. A spear-fishing company reported losing half his business in Cancun.

“Cancun doesn’t grow a tomato,” said the fishing operator’s owner, Alex Ojeda. “The whole population of the town depends on tourists. It’s a horrible place when it comes to planning. There’s no backup. It’s too big to fail.”

Employees of Mexico City-based destination marketing company and tour operator Kamino Tours saw the effects firsthand this year when they showed up at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism fair and a place to promote Mexican tourism to travel agents, hotels, and tour operators from around the globe.

“For the first time in 20 years, the Mexico stand was the most boring and plain stand in the whole fair,” said Bob Dijks, a manager at Kamino Tours. “Normally we would have a very eye-catching stand with big television screens showing amazing footage of Mexico. You would have a hostess serving drinks, coffee, tequila, and small Mexican snacks. You would have an entertainment team, mariachis.”

With Mexico’s tourism operators already fighting a negative worldwide image linked to violence, the lack of international marketing support means there is nothing to counterbalance this view, he said.

“The tourism board was an element to try to give people another perspective on Mexico,” Dijks said. “I’m afraid that’s going to disappear. There’s no funding. I personally don’t know who is going to take that over. Who is going to step up now and make sure Mexico keeps on being promoted?”

Source: Skift

- Advertisement -

Subscribe Now!

More articles

600 acres expropriated in Quintana Roo for new Mayan Train route

Mexico has seized 198 lots of land in Quintana Roo along phase 5 of the Mayan Train's path.

Omicron strain now dominant in Yucatán

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 now appears to be the most common form of the virus in Yucatán.

Exploring Tazumal and Casa Blanca in Western El Salvador

Though part of the Mayan world, archaeological sites in El Salvador have largely remained unvisited by all but the most avid adventurers. But this tiny country boasts several interesting sites full of unique features and blends of cultural traditions. 

Mérida slated to build nearly 100 new highrise towers

Housing and business developments in Mérida have historically been fairly “close to the ground,” but that seems to be changing.

Yucatán’s COVID hospitalizations begin to creep up

Over 3,000 new coronavirus infections were reported this week in Yucatán. On Sunday alone, 652 new cases were detected, and that's likely...

‘Angels’ spreads its wings to the Yucatán Country Club gallery

The "Angels" exhibit has expanded into the exclusive Yucatán Country Club gallery, on view by appointment. Photo: Courtesy

Yucatán wakes up to a cold and windy ‘Mukul’

Mark Callum, a Mérida resident originally from England, helped this Chevy's owner move a huge branch behind the Paseo de Montejo...

Mérida Fest to go forward despite COVID-19 surge

The Ayuntamiento has confirmed that in-person events scheduled for Mérida Fest 2022 will continue as planned.

Building in Yucatán to get even more expensive in 2022

Over the past several years, construction costs in Yucatán have risen sharply and all signs point to even higher prices in 2022..

Yucatán’s top 8 street junk food favorites

Walking through virtually any city or town in Yucatán a wide range of food vendors can be seen peddling goodies out of push carts, mobile stands, food trucks, and just about every other configuration you can think of.