Acapulco, Guerrero, The main tourist destinations of the state lost more than 3 billion pesos during the winter holiday season compared to the same period of the previous year, reported the Guerrero Tourism Secretariat.
The head of the agency, Ernesto Rodríguez Escalona, reported that the economic spill during the December holidays of 2020 was 1,340 million pesos in Acapulco, Taxco, and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, against 4,756 million pesos that were raised in 2019.
He noted that the tourist destinations in Guerrero show a 44 percent decrease in tourist influx and hotel occupancy compared to last winter’s holiday season.
He specified that the port has received just over 193 thousand tourists during the holiday season of 2020, with a hotel occupancy of 37.8 percent, which, compared to the previous year, when it was 83.4 percent, is practically equivalent to less than half.
The estimated spill for Acapulco is 794 million pesos, against 2,765 million generated in December 2019, with the visit of 628 thousand tourists.
In the case of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, it is estimated that 163 thousand tourists have visited it during the 2020 winter break, with an average hotel occupancy of 43.8 percent and an economic income of 514 million pesos.
During the December holidays of 2019, the occupancy in that tourist destination was 87.3 percent on average, with a spill of 1,575 million pesos and 456,549 tourists.
In Taxco, the arrival of 14,255 tourists is calculated, a spill of 31,147,000 pesos and an average occupancy of 27.3 percent during the period mentioned of 2020.
In December 2019, Taxco averaged 70.9 percent occupancy, with the arrival of 61 thousand visitors and a spill of 142.3 million pesos.
Rodríguez Escalona stressed that thanks to the operations launched during the last days of 2020, the beaches were kept clear during the celebration of New Year’s Eve, which prevented the agglomeration of more than 300 thousand people who traditionally gathered in the strip from Acapulco to witness the fireworks show.
“The expected tourism did not arrive, but we have had movement,” said the official.
Beaches in the Diamante area, including Revolcadero, recorded a high concentration of vacationers, due to condominium occupation, which on Sunday, for example, averaged 69 percent in the Diamante area and 61 percent in the Dorada area.
From disbelief to lament and from uncertainty to despair. This is how Acapulqueños lived most of 2020, the year of the pandemic; between recklessness and disobedience in the face of the need to earn a few pesos; from fear of the unknown to pain over the death of a loved one.
The first 90 days that the beaches were closed (from April 2 to July 2) due to sanitary restrictions imposed by the state government were a blow to the resources of thousands of families who depend on tourism and related businesses, such as restaurants, hotels, transportation, pleasure boats, music, entertainment, sports, and even gyms.
Young Acapulqueños were forced to take to the streets to ask for money. Cruises became a reflection of the economic crisis, the true impact of which could be felt this year.
Musicians, clowns, acrobats, sellers of candies and bracelets, as well as women with children in their arms walk the tourist strip to ask for money.
Once the beaches were reopened, hotel occupancies did not exceed 30 percent during the summer due to restrictions.
“I felt like I was watching an end of the world movie. It is the worst nightmare that we have ever lived. You went out to the street and everything was closed. When we were at a red light, 34,850 businesses suspended activities due to the pandemic. It was impressive, ”recalls Alejandro Martínez, president of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Guerrero, who specified that some 10,000 establishments did not reopen.
“Closing three months (at the beginning of the health emergency) left the entire industry very bad. We continue to be unable to rehire much of our staff. That means that there are a lot of people without work ”, affirmed the hotelier Fernando Robledo, manager of the Playa Suites hotel.
Robledo, who participates in awareness and training courses taught by the municipal tourism secretariat to formal and informal service providers, anticipated that 2021 will be a “complicated” year for tourism since the actual number of unemployed citizens can be calculated after the first months of this year.
The president of the College of Graduates in Tourism of Guerrero, Abraham Garay, indicated that due to the pandemic some 50 thousand people lost their jobs in 2020 in Acapulco; a part has been gradually recovered.
For the president of the Mexican Agency of Travel Agencies in Guerrero, Santos Ramírez, the present is a time of opportunities. “We are surely going to see the decline of large companies and also the resurgence of small and medium-sized companies. We will see new brands born and other legendary ones go. It is a historical moment of tourism ”.
He considered that it is premature to affirm that Acapulco will be fine in 2021 since the application of vaccines against Covid-19 takes a process.
The president of the Acapulco Coalition of Tourist Associations, David Abarca, stressed that it is imperative to modify strategies and policies of the sector if a resurgence of the port and its economy is desired.
“We must take the opportunity to change many negative things. We have to renew the infrastructure, create new products, regulate the beaches and the street trade; the authorities must establish order and discipline. If we want quality tourism, we must offer quality services. “
For this, he said, the culture of the population must also be modified, which, given the lack of income, chose to work and risk contracting coronavirus.
On December 28, the municipal government reported that 163 commercial establishments of various types have been closed since the beginning of the health emergency, for not complying with health measures.
Until yesterday, in Acapulco, there were 11,120 cases of Covid-19 and 1,256 deaths.