Published On: Thu, Dec 24th, 2020

Quintana Roo has taken a calculated risk in encouraging tourists from the US to travel

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United States tourists, locked out of European countries and other popular tourism destinations around the world due to the raging coronavirus pandemic at home, are flocking to the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo.

Despite the coronavirus situation and a United States government warning against all travel to Mexico, the number of American visitors to Quintana Roo, where popular destinations such as Cancún, Playa del Carmen and Tulum are located, has increased 23% this year compared to 2019, according to statistics cited by The Washington Post.

The Post also reported that about 100 flights from the United States are currently arriving in Quintana Roo per day. The state’s most popular and famous destination, Cancún, is expected to be busy over the Christmas-New Year vacation period if not quite as bustling as in recent years.×163&!5&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=33dmUAmfCo&p=https%3A//

The authorities in Quintana Roo, whose economy is heavily dependent on tourism revenue, have taken a calculated risk in encouraging tourists from the United States and further afield to vacation along the state’s Caribbean coastline. They even declared tourism an essential service to ensure that the sector can continue to operate.

There is little doubt that the risk of the virus spreading increases with the arrival of each planeload of U.S. tourists – some of whom see Mexico as an escape from the pandemic problems at home and are reluctant mask-wearers – but the money they bring to an economy that has been battered in 2020 is much needed.

Tourism Minister Vanegas.
Tourism Minister Vanegas: ‘We always prioritize public health.’

More than 100,000 tourism sector jobs were lost in Quintana Roo in the first few months of the pandemic, causing unemployment to skyrocket in the state’s tourism hotspots. According to the municipal government of Tulum, half of the town’s working age adults were unemployed in May.

“We need to find a way to create jobs. Otherwise, the situation will continue getting worse,” said Quintana Roo Tourism Minister Marisol Vanegas. “But we always prioritize public health.”

But how well the authorities have managed the health risks posed by an influx of tourists has been called into question recently as news came to light about a multi-day festival held in Tulum last month that has been described as a coronavirus superspreading event.




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