Mexico will maintain long weekends as one of the measures to reactivate the tourism sector after the COVID-19 pandemic, Miguel Torruco, head of the Ministry of Tourism reported on Wednesday.
The official said that the measure was authorized by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who in early February proposed to recover the holidays from historical dates and eliminate four long weekends from the calendar, which had mandatory breaks on Monday in order to promote tourism.
“Today in the afternoon that I spoke with the president, he authorized me to announce that to detonate domestic tourism they will stay on long weekends,” Torruco said at a press conference together with the undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion of Mexico, Hugo López-Gatell.
The official pointed out that these weekends, about four a year, generate an increase in hotel occupancy of 7 or 8 points and leave a profit for the sector of 38,000 million pesos (about 1,633 million dollars / about 1,490 million euros) .
Torruco said that this day he met with López-Gatell in addition to ten governors and state tourism secretaries to integrate a document of some 130 pages with the protocols of all areas of the tourism sector that must intensify and reinforce their hygiene measures for their reactivation .
On this point, the general director of Health Promotion of Mexico, Ricardo Cortés, explained the measures to be taken in each company of the tourist sector for the return to the new normality that will occur with the traffic light of activities proposed by the Government
He said that tourism is “a very large world” that includes transportation, air and land, hotels and services in which healthy distance measures must be reinforced, cleaning of common use areas and closed places, in addition to training personnel on how to approach clients
Cortés explained that each tourist company should review the document to find out which areas should be cleaned and disinfected, for example, the planes, and how to provide a new service to the customer so that he queues up in waiting rooms in hotels or airports.
Regarding these protocols, strategies and new behaviors, López-Gatell said that the need to return to a new normal is appreciated.
“But it is not going back to what is customary but finding all the opportunities to change our behavior in the public space not only as individuals, but as a community,” he said.
Torruco explained that during the first quarter of 2020 the arrival of international tourists to the country fell by 34.4% compared to the same period of the previous year, which resulted in a 45.6% drop in money inflows.
This Wednesday, the Mexican Health authorities reported 2,248 new infections and 424 deaths from COVID-19, with which the country reached 56,594 confirmed cases and 6,090 deaths from the disease.
The number of deaths on this day is the highest for a day since the start of the pandemic on February 28, and represents an increase of 7.48% compared to the 5,666 that were reported the previous day.