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High Season Tourism Drops Due to Safety Fears

By: Staff | Real Acapulco News - 18 January, 2011

(Acapulco, AN 18 January) The Mexican Association of Travel Agents in Guerrero made it known yesterday that this year is the worst season ever for tourism from Canada. Based on the weekly charter load factors, the drop in attendance could be as much as 50% with respect to last year. According to Pedro Falcón Moreno, a travel agent and leader in the Acapulco chapter of the Travel Agents’ Association, “the beginning of the season could not be any slower.” Agents and consolidators are attributing the drop off to the reports of violence and the fear tourists have for their safety while in Acapulco. According to Falcón, other places, like Huatalco, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán will reap the benefits. “The competition is really tough, and we here in Acapulco are resting on our laurels.” He noted that Huatalco is receiving 9 weekly charters, full. “They are the flights that used to come to Acapulco,” he said. Acapulco receives between one and three each week during the high season.

In a related story, a local labor union leader reported that workers in Acapulco’s tourism industry have no confidence that the Spring Break season this year will bring many vacationers to the port city. Rodrigo Ramírez Justo said that the student markets in the US and Canada are “very sensitive to violence.” For that reason, the already very battered “Spring Breaker” season will be worse than ever, he predicts. He, like everyone else involved with tourism in Acapulco, recommended an “aggressive” promotion campaign in the North American cities most likely to generate Spring Break tourism for Acapulco. He also recommends heavier promotion within Mexico, to counteract the efforts of rival destinations. “We got complacent,” he said, “We took for granted that every year the Spring Breakers would come back. But we now realize, in the worst way, that it is not like that. We have to keep promoting just to stay even, and promote even more to get ahead.”

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