Published on : Wednesday, November 1, 2017
In Cancun, Mexico, hotel occupancy has tumbled 10 percent this year. And in Los Cabos, it’s worse. The airport serving Cabo San Lucas and its lesser-known sister city, San Jose del Cabo, is looking emptier these days. Hotel guests have cancelled 35,000 nights of bookings over the next year.
Many tourists are staying away, getting afraid due to a wave of violence at tourist hot spots. Gunmen opened fire at a Cancun nightclub in November, and a cooler with two human heads was found on Cabo San Lucas’s main hotel strip in June. But the biggest blow came on Aug. 22, when the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning advising tourists to steer clear altogether.
Mexico is beefing up security in popular tourist spots to get the State Department to revise its views, and companies including Hilton Worldwide and Marriott International are spending millions to make guests feel safer. Mexico gets about $20 billion a year from tourism. The mishaps in Los Cabos and in Cancun this year have resulted in revenue loss. Quintana Roo, the state where Cancun is located, is the destination of a third of all the nation’s international tourists.
In Los Cabos, local and federal authorities are teaming up with hotels, time-share companies and the airport operator to increase the area’s security.
The group is spending $50 million to increase surveillance cameras to cover the 20-mile main stretch that includes hotels, restaurants and public beaches. A new military facility will be built near a highway to respond to any activity spotted on the cameras. It is set to open in the second quarter of 2018.