Covid-19 halts tourist activity in Mexico

Hotel groups operating in the country have announced partial or total closures of their facilities because it is not feasible to maintain them with minimum occupancy due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has practically paralyzed the world.

Travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic affect an industry that generates 8 percent of GDP.
Travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic affect an industry that generates 8 percent of GDP.

Hotel groups operating in the country have announced partial or total closures of their facilities because it is not feasible to maintain them with minimum occupancy due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has practically paralyzed the world.

In Quintana Roo, the country's main tourist destination, hotel occupancy plummeted from 65 percent in early March to 20 percent last weekend, as most foreign tourists decided to return to their places of origin in view of the imminent closure of borders.

According to the Hotel Association of Cancun, Isla Mujeres, and Puerto Morelos, 22 firms closed in Quintana Roo, representing 7,350 rooms. This represents a severe blow to an industry that generates nearly eight percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Covid-19 emergency comes just as the Spring Break and Easter holiday periods, the most important of the year for the sector, are about to begin, mainly in the Mexican Caribbean, where the spillage left by spring breakers amounts to as much as 50 million dollars between March and April.

The state government, headed by Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez, is in negotiations with representatives of hotel chains to avoid layoffs of workers in the tourism sector.

The Hotel Association indicated that the hotels that remain open have adopted the hygiene and prevention measures suggested by the governments, as well as protocols to protect visitors and workers.

Riu closes hotels in Mexico

With more than 60 years in the tourism sector, RIU Hotels & Resorts, the hotel chain from Spain, temporarily closed 16 of its 20 facilities in Mexico, as part of the plan to stagger the closure of its 95 hotels around the world by the end of the month.

This measure was taken with the aim of trying to restore normal business when this period of uncertainty has passed and thus maintain the jobs of employees.

While the hotels remain closed, a contingent of employees will be maintained for maintenance and security tasks of the establishments, in a situation that is expected to be solved as soon as possible in order to relocate workers to their usual positions and conditions.

The company continues to operate at its Riu Palace Peninsula, Riu Vallarta, Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas, and Riu Emerald Bay locations.

Acapulco is empty

The coronavirus contingency has led to the lowest hotel occupancy rate in recent years. Yesterday it reached just 14.4 percent in the Triangle of the Sun.

Guerrero's Tourism Ministry said that in Acapulco, general hotel room rentals barely reached 9.2 percent, while Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo registered 27.6 percent, and the silver city of Taxco de Alarcón, remains without tourism by maintaining a hotel occupancy rate of 7.2 percent.

Tourist service providers do not expect an increase in hotel occupancy because the country entered phase two of the Coronavirus pandemic where cases will begin to increase in the coming days and the Sana Distancia day is taking place, so the population remains at home.

Restaurateurs go out to sell on the streets

In Mexico City, employees of a restaurant located on Paseo de la Reforma, took to the streets to sell empanadas at $10 pesos each, in view of the zero influx of diners in their business by the restrictive measures imposed by the government. With information from Pedro Radilla/El Sol de Acapulco and Tania Licón.