Rogelio Jiménez Pons Gómez, General Director of the National Fund for Tourism Development (Fonatur), recently pointed out that the budget for the Mayan Train has increased by 60 billion pesos.
“The initial cost was 140 billion pesos and now it is almost 200 billion,” said Jiménez Pons. “The rate of return has been calculated around 12 to 14 percent, and profitability is expected to be obtained mainly from tourism and cargo transportation throughout the Yucatan Peninsula.”
The Tren Maya has been part of many controversies, including around 25 legal appeals against the project. Yet Jiménez Pons Gómez told senators that, according to an UN-Habitat study, the Tren Maya will have a positive impact on the population of the South-Southeast region of the country.
“We’re expecting a positive increase of migration, as well as tourism spending and sources of employment. It will help to fight poverty and generate productive diversification,” said Jiménez Pons.
During the construction for the mega-project, many archeological discoveries have been found. Over 17,000 pieces have been recovered, among many newly identified archeological sites.
The archaeological findings discovered along the Mayan Train’s route will be exhibited in two new museums. One in Chichén Itzá and the other in the Puuc Route, said Diego Prieto Hernández, anthropologist and director of the National Institute of Anthropology.
“Two new museums will be created,” said Prieto Herández, “the first one for the area of Chichen Itza, which lacks a site museum, and since it is the second most visited archaeological site in the country, must have one. The second museum will be for the Puuc Route, in order to increase tourism flow in that area.”
Also, he emphasized that some pieces could be destined for community museums, as several groups have requested it.
“The idea is no longer that everything comes to Mexico City, nor that everything goes to the capitals of the states, but that the pieces are preferably in an area close to their context”.
The anthropologist explained that, so far, they have registered 17,79,000 monuments from salvages and surface surveys, of which 15,585 are immovable monuments, such as vessels, grinding stones, and other concentrations of materials.
The progress to date on these sections is 78.21 percent, that is, 760 km of work in prospecting and excavation.
In Yucatán Magazine: Rare ancient Mayan vessel discovered in the path of the Tren Maya