National Tourism Key to Sector RecoveryBy MBN Staff | Mon, 05/04/2020 - 13:34
In 2018, the tourism industry contributed 8.7 percent to Mexico’s GDP and 2.3 million jobs, surpassing those generated by the construction and automotive industries. It is currently one of the most affected by the crisis unleashed by COVID-19 but the industry is already preparing to carry out a gradual reactivation.
In mid-March, hotel occupancy plummeted at major tourist spots to its lowest levels in history. In Mexico City and Cancun, the percentage of occupied rooms accumulates several weeks below 5 percent, levels only seen in 2009 during the A-H1N1 health crisis. Occupancy in Cancun fell to less than 2 percent, after reporting an annual average of over 70 percent, according to figures from the Statistical Compendium of Hotel Activity.
According to health authorities, recovery of productive activities is contemplated for May 17 in 979 municipalities. The automotive, construction and tourism industries will be a priority, said the Director of the Institute for Industrial Development and Economic Growth (IDIC). An important part of this plan focuses on regaining the trust of national tourists. For example, in Mexico City, new manuals on hygiene protocols will be introduced. Meanwhile, the Quintana Roo Minister of Tourism is developing a strategy for the entire state, including Cancun.
The COVID-19 health emergency will destroy around 300,000 jobs and generate losses of around US$2.4 billion in Mexico, according to a study by the Anáhuac Center for Research and Tourist Competitiveness. However, according to a calculation by the Center for Tourism Research and Competitiveness (CICOTUR), the resources that will cease to be generated by tourism due to the COVID-19 in April in the country could reach twice the investment necessary for the execution of the Mayan Train. According to federal authorities, the cost of the Mayan Train is at MX$139 billion (US$5.75 billion).