TULUM, Mexico – As 2024 unfolds, not only as an election year but also a year of significant challenges, it is crucial for the Mexican tourism industry, particularly in Quintana Roo, to maintain a long-term development vision. This approach is vital to ensure the industry’s independence from political fluctuations, especially since tourism is a major employment source. David Ortiz Mena, Vice President of the Mexican Caribbean Hotel Council, emphasized this need for stability and foresight.
Quintana Roo has been experiencing positive tourism numbers, but various federal political decisions have created an air of uncertainty. A prime example is the potential closure of the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (Fonatur), which has overseen integrally planned centers, including Cancun’s successful Hotel Zone, for over 50 years. “We trust that the state administration will provide necessary services, but the long-term resolution is critical,” Ortiz Mena commented. He further highlighted Cancun’s success, partly attributed to Fonatur’s maintenance of its Hotel Zone, setting it apart from other areas in Benito Juárez.
As the President of the Tulum Hotels Association, Ortiz Mena expressed hope for decision-making that transcends partisan interests, focusing solely on securing the future of this tourist destination. Given that the industry in Quintana Roo boasts 130,000 hotel rooms and provides 300,000 direct jobs, it necessitates public policies that anticipate various scenarios and bolster development.
Ortiz Mena pointed out the absence of a unified promotional strategy with the Federation since the dissolution of the Mexican Tourism Promotion Council. This has led to an increased reliance on local advertising efforts and private initiatives, as well as a lack of effective crisis management in response to negative news or contingencies.
“We must clarify misinformation and highlight our strengths,” Ortiz Mena insisted, emphasizing the need for proactive efforts in public agenda setting.
The upcoming International Tourism Trade Fair (Fitur) in Madrid presents an opportunity for hotel associations and representatives from the 12 Mexican Caribbean tourist destinations to collaborate with the Quintana Roo Tourism Promotion Council. However, improvements are needed, as evidenced by the Federation’s decision to prioritize the “Sedena” brand at the last World Travel Market in London, a move considered unsuitable for showcasing national tourist attractions.