While the summer heat in Puerto Vallarta is sizzling, there's good news from the Eighth Health Region. Dr. Jaime Alvarez Zayas, the region's esteemed director, proudly announced that the city has yet to witness a single case of heat stroke. However, he didn't hesitate to issue a stern warning to citizens, urging them to avoid prolonged sun exposure and keep themselves hydrated. The doctor also advised the educational sector to refrain from outdoor activities during these scorching days. After all, no one wants to end up feeling as crispy as a churro left in the sun for too long.
According to recent reports by Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP), Puerto Vallarta International Airport is experiencing a sky-high surge in air passenger numbers. In the first five months of this year, the airport has already welcomed over 3 million travelers, both from the domestic and international markets. That's a staggering 20% increase compared to the same period in 2022. In May alone, Puerto Vallarta boasted more than 237,000 domestic air passengers, marking a delightful 2.1% boost from last year. The city has already surpassed a million tourists visiting between January and May 2023. It seems that Puerto Vallarta is becoming the hottest destination on everyone's travel radar.
Keeping up with the tourism boom, hotels in Puerto Vallarta have been experiencing record-breaking occupancy rates. Christian Salvador Preciado Cázares, the Director of Tourism and Economic Development, revealed that on weekends, the average occupancy rate has soared to an impressive 95%. Some hotels even had "No Vacancy" signs flashing during the long weekend, thanks to the celebrations of Jalisco's bicentennial. Families have flocked to the city, while hotels catering to adults have seen occupancy rates in the range of 65% to 70%. With numbers like these, Puerto Vallarta is on track to close the month at a staggering 90% occupancy rate. Looks like paradise has found its crowd.
In a bid to ensure the safety of millions of beach-loving tourists, Puerto Vallarta's lifeguards have undergone intensive training. Equipped with new skills, they're ready to offer the best service possible to visitors who flock to this sun-soaked destination each year. So, no need to worry about getting caught in an undertow or being attacked by rogue seagulls while you work on your tan. Puerto Vallarta's got you covered, literally and figuratively.
And speaking of recognition, Puerto Vallarta made its presence felt at the prestigious World Education Congress (WEC) in Cancun. This year's edition, organized by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), turned the spotlight on Mexico due to its remarkable growth in the meetings and events sector. Puerto Vallarta, with its exceptional tourism infrastructure, proudly participated in the event, ensuring that it remains firmly on the global stage.
The enchanting coastal city of Puerto Vallarta is also making waves in the world of cruises. In the first four months of 2023, Puerto Vallarta welcomed a whopping 285,127 cruise passengers, capturing a significant 7.7% of Mexico's total. And if we consider the figures up to May, that number has already soared to 327,877,87 passengers. The crystal-clear waters and vibrant culture of Puerto Vallarta are undoubtedly drawing cruisers in droves.
Meanwhile, Puerto Vallarta is rolling up its sleeves to enhance its infrastructure and ensure the safety and efficiency of tourist services. The much-anticipated rehabilitation works of the pier at Playa de los Muertos, nestled in the romantic zone of the city, have finally kicked off. These revamp will undoubtedly elevate the experience for both tourists and maritime transportation users. Who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of a romantic sunset stroll or two.
Not all news, however, is a sun-kissed dream. Puerto Vallarta's Inter-institutional Committee for the Prevention of the Crime of Human Trafficking has approved a Plan of Action for Immediate Measures. This strategic move aims to combat human rights violations and reduce the prevalence of human trafficking. The City Council, through edilicio agreement 360/2023, greenlit this vital plan. It's a step in the right direction, a beacon of hope for those affected by such heinous crimes.
In a somber twist, the National Registry of Missing and Unaccounted for Persons (RNPDNO) has revealed alarming figures. Since the first disappearance registered back in 1962, a staggering 897 individuals have gone missing in Puerto Vallarta. Among them, 671 are men, while 226 are women. While the authorities have successfully located 412 people over the years, accounting for 45.9% of the total number of missing persons, the search continues for 485 individuals. This represents a haunting 54% of all disappearances. Puerto Vallarta's heart goes out to the families and loved ones of those who have yet to be found, and they remain steadfast in their efforts to bring closure to these cases.
Amidst the sun-soaked beaches and thriving tourism industry, Puerto Vallarta is a city of contrasts. From scorching summers to bustling airports, from luxurious hotels to lifeguards keeping watch, this coastal paradise is a haven for tourists and a testament to the human spirit. So come, bask in the sunshine, sip a margarita, and let Puerto Vallarta enchant you with its warm embrace.