TULUM, Quintana Roo – Local traders operating in Tulum’s archaeological zone have reported experiencing a significantly lower influx of visitors during the usual low season, with operational levels dropping to only 20-30 percent of their normal capacity.
Alejandro Torres Perera, a local guide, acknowledged the perplexing nature of this situation, stating that the decline in visitor numbers during this traditionally quiet period has been noticeable.
“The drop in visitor numbers to the Tulum archaeological zone is quite pronounced this low season, unlike in previous years. We are unsure of the reasons behind this decline. Additionally, they had closed the site a few weeks ago for renovations and modernization at the entrance, so the decrease in visitors is even more noticeable,” he emphasized.
Torres Perera further explained that the guides are currently working together to ensure a rotation system for the 23 guides who provide services in the area. However, due to the low flow of tourists, they are only able to operate at around 30 percent capacity, which translates to an average of just one tour per day.
“Sometimes, even with a few of us trying to meet the service demand, we still can’t accommodate everyone on the list. So, I dare say we are operating at around 20-30 percent of our usual activity level,” he added.
Nicolás Argüelles, a waiter at one of the restaurants in the archaeological zone, lamented that there are days when only a small group of diners consumes food and beverages. He pointed out that there is indeed some tourist movement, but the majority come with all-inclusive package deals, which hinder local businesses from generating substantial revenue.
“There are days when we serve only one or two tables, one or two groups, and that’s extremely low. Moreover, the all-inclusive packages affect us because tourists don’t spend money on our individual services; they purchase everything as part of a bundled deal,” he pointed out.
Argüelles considered this to be the most challenging season they have faced since the reopening of commercial activities following the Covid-19 pandemic. He expressed hope that the upcoming summer vacations will provide an opportunity for economic recovery, despite several more weeks remaining in the low season.