How will Mexico handle Tourism after COVID19 Pandemic ends
While the larger parts of the world slowly recovering from COVID19 and regress to some sort of ‘normal’. The Americas, including Mexico, are still struggling to get out of phase 3 and move beyond the peak of the outbreak. Yet, seeing light at the end of the tunnel, the Mexican Federal Government has started plans to open the country.
Mexico was not as sick as the outside worlds may have made you believe
Compared the neighbouring countries and looking at European tourist destinations, Mexico is not hit that hard by the virus. Although most of the tourist hotspots like Baja California, Tijuana Mexico City and Quintana Roo still in phase 3 of the outbreak, there are some states where there are little to zero contaminations.
Those “Cities of Hope’ as they are called, will return to the new normality on May 18. And the new normality means:
observing sanitization as advised by the government
and restrictions of large group meeting.
How trustworthy is the information the Mexican government shares about Sars-Cov2
With the federal government setting the parameters for the 32 States and 32 health departments to work out the details to contain and restrict the virus, there is a lot of room for speculation and false news. because there is no real uniformity in the application of the rules and regulations.
Does one state imply a curfew, another state may make facemasks mandatory. This is confusing, but not to a point of misunderstanding since most states, especially those that harbour the tourist industry have clear and constant communication about what is going on where and why.
Lots of friends especially from the Netherlands have been criticizing me for having full faith in the Mexican government. My answer was always: I trust them, so far what they say makes sense and the predictions come true always as do the promises. Unlike other countries, for example, Italy and Spain and the USA where everybody seems lost, here in Mexico it is pretty clear what to expect and why.
In every morning and evening press conference which are held daily things are explained and worries from the people are addressed:
the testing methods
the non-COVID death versus the COVID death report
the way the virus spreads
how to interpret the numbers
how medical supplies are distributed and why
If you pay attention you know. And if you miss a press conference, you can check the interactive website that has been up since day one with pages for frontline workers, families, business and even a children’s section.
All departments in the government worked together from day 1, and all States worked together with the Federal Government from day one, and all municipalities have been working together with the State government to flatten the curve.
And where other countries failed to get enough supplies Mexico had plenty from day one due to an airbridge between Shanghai and Mexico City initiated by the Mexican Embassy in Shanghai.
As a foreigner in this country, I can only say “Respect” the government here really have this under control and a clear view where they are heading ever since March 23 when the “Jornada de Sana Distancia” was introduced by Susana Distancia, our superhero that inspired both the kids and the grown-ups to take precautions.
Now about the future of tourism
The numbers are still rising in some areas of Mexico but the tourism board is working hard on new protocols, campaigns and promotions to revive the tourist industry that has suffered a huge blow in these last few months.
As for now, Mexico is working its way back to the “new normality” by a system called Sémaforo (traffic light) Ever since the beginning of the daily outbreak reports the colours have been dark red, red, orange, yellow and green. Depending on the virus activity. During the return phase, those colours will determine the freedom and re-opening of the economy.
Tourism has a special place in this process. It is not part of the Sémaforo but will be integrated into the economic stimulant during the revitalisation of the Mexican economy.
In other words, the tourism industry will follow a separate path, following the Color of the State representing the phase the State is in.
Protocols are being placed, workers are being trained and certifications are handed out.
The tourism sector that is a huge part of the Mexican economy and provided jobs for so many that are now struggling to get by day by day because they lost their jobs, will be on a strict path to recovery starting May 18. Depending on the State’s health situation.
Protocols are being written and staff is being trained, sanitary measurements are being implemented and airports are being reactivated accordingly. Hotels start accepting reservations, but only for national travel.
With countries in the Americas still very sick and not having the virus under control yet, like in the USA, and Europe still under a travel ban, Mexico has decided to focus on local travellers first. Taking trips by car, interstate weekend breaks and short summer breaks not too far away from home. This little boost will give enough breathing space for the economy and also a testing ground to see how all this is holding up and if the protocols are effective and efficient.
Most all-inclusive resorts will have a “stay in” policy, and people are not yet allowed on trips to tourist destinations parks and historical sites. Those places will open up a little further int the process.
Everything needs to be adjusted to assure the safety of both guests and workers.
is it safe to book a vacation in for example Quintana Roo?
I believe it is, once all protocols are set, and hotels are ready to reopen under the new normality, I believe you will be safe here in Quintana Roo.
Follow the local guidelines and rules, sanitize as much as you can and prevent touching your face.
Make sure you are well informed about the rules your hotel has set and you will be fine when you follow those.
Quintana Roo will open in the first week of June. That week the Stae will enter the first step of the Sémaforo, and work its ways to the green phase where the virus is under control and the cities are back to phase 1 from the outbreak.
And let’s hope that by working together we can keep it that way.
The safety of your hosts and hostess in the resorts you visit, the health of the shop owners and staff, all depend on how you behave, and with that, your own safety depends on that as well and the safety of your family and city once you return home.
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.