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More Year End Visitors Arrive in Acapulco

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 30 December, 2010

(Acapulco, NA 30 December) According to the Federal Police, Acapulco absorbed 3,120 more cars into its streets and avenues yesterday, as year-end revelers arrive in the City. The inflow was constant, from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. The main avenue around the bay, the Costera Miguel Alemán, was bumper-to-bumper for most of the day, especially along the stretch from La Diana to Club Deportivo, the popular Condesa area. Heavy vehicle traffic also choked the lanes around Parque Papagayo and the main flag pole. Feeder routes were also jammed, mostly with out-of-state license plates. No parking places were to be found anywhere. The best advice for visitors is to leave the car in the hotel and rely on taxis and buses, or better still, set out on foot if possible. Acapulco expects about 45,000 families to arrive in the port before New Year’s Eve.

The bus terminals are equally crowded with arriving visitors, with 40 daily arrivals, each one at full capacity. Most of them come in from Mexico City. Dozens of the large charter buses arrive each day, also fully loaded, with groups from more distant locations, mainly from the northern part of the country. All arriving air flights show load factors of near 100%, and Acapulco’s airport has also been crowded with international arrivals, with long lines at immigration and customs.

In the Golden Zone, hotels averaged 87.5% occupancy, with many of the more popular ones reporting that they are fully booked through the weekend.

The heavy traffic and the massive arrivals of tourists have led to a few abuses. Mayor José Luis Ávila Sánchez yesterday urged all who work in the tourist industry not to take advantage of visitors by overcharging or misleading them, emphasizing that Acapulco’s prosperity depends on the well-being and satisfaction of its holiday guests.

In making his statement, Mayor Ávila Sánchez may have been directing himself specifically to providers of local transport. Taxis have started to charge a $30 peso minimum fare instead of the usual $25 pesos, arguing that the heavy traffic makes each trip last longer and consume more gasoline. Collective taxis, which usually charge $12 pesos for a run from Acapulco to the Diamond Zone or to Renacimiento, are charging $15 pesos for the same reason. A full run from Caleta to the Naval Base along the Costera in a conventional taxi will be quoted at $250 pesos instead of the usual $100 or so. By accepted local tradition, all public transportation fares are doubled on New Year’s Eve.

Mayor Ávila Sánchez was asked in a press interview yesterday about PROFECO’s closing or fining six restaurants in Puerto Marqués for price gouging. He responded that a large part of the problem is not with the owners of the establishment, but rather with the employees, who add to the bill in order to increase their own year-end take-home pay. For that reason, he appealed to all citizens to respect Acapulco’s honored guests during the long year-end holiday.

The mayor also was asked about the great increase in unofficial street vendors in the downtown area. He assured the owners of licensed businesses that the municipal police will remove any street vendors who do not have a city license to be there.