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Acapulco’s Tourism Sector Corrects Sectur Statement

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 04 March, 2011

(Acapulco, El Sur, 4 March) Today various government and private sector leaders contradicted yesterday’s pronouncement by the Federal Secretary of Tourism. She had said that reports of violence were just one of several factors to explain the drop in Acapulco’s tourism and just one factor should not be given so much importance. The reaction in Acapulco was far from positive.

The mayor of Acapulco, Manuel Añorve Baños, told the press that the Secretary should really get to know Acapulco better. “She comes just once a year – for the national tourism show hosted at the Convention Center – and spends the rest of the time focused on Mexico´s other tourism destinations.”

Meanwhile, heads of the business chambers and the hotel association responded to Secretary Guevara’s statement somewhat differently. They said she should not minimize the impact of the image of violence on the vertiginous drop in visitors. She predicted that the Spring Break crowd will come; it is just late in making its reservations this year.

In fact, they are not coming, and the reason is the fear of violence. The private sector worries that if the main government official in charge of promoting tourism has misdiagnosed the ailment, how can she possibly work competently towards an effective cure?

Government and business alike expressed the opinion that the federal government must attack the problem frontally with investment and aggressive programs to reverse the poor image caused by the incessant bloody attacks in the poor and working class areas of town. “We need her to help solve this problem, not deny that it exists,” said the head in Guerrero of Mexico’s confederation of manufactures, Pascual Romero García. “Denying that it is the main problem just to avoid facing it does no one any good,” he said, “like trying to block out the sun with your finger.”

With respect to the idea that the “springbreakers” are just slow to commit, an executive of Playa Suites, a popular Spring Break location, said that the wholesaling travel agencies have all canceled with them. No one is expected to arrive. Many professionals in the sector see the same thing happening with cruise ships as with Spring Break unless the private sector and all levels of government get behind a promotional initiative to clarify the situation in Acapulco and other tourist destinations, and demonstrate that Acapulco remains an attractive and inviting place to spend vacation time.