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Latin America Investment News on Viva Tropical

Acapulco’s Second Chance

Article Summary:

The once-famous Mexican city, Acapulco, seeks to recover the glory of its past and gain a new market share of Mexico’s domestic tourists.

Original Article Text From El Pais via Google Translate :

Acapulco Try Resurgence Of Violence

There was a time when Liz Taylor crossed the street to the supermarket and Tony Curtis was put on an apron and served drinks at the Paradise. Those were the days when advertising was true of the Los Flamingos: “Welcome to the gang’s hideout in Hollywood.” Errol Flynn, Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan, Cary Grant, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley … formed the constellation of stars that made Acapulco, between the decades of the forties and sixties, a synonym for glamor world.

It’s been a lot of that. Just thirty tourists attending on the eve of the bridge from San Jose to the chilling spectacle of the divers at La Quebrada, where fearless kids are thrown into the sea from a cliff 35 meters for a few pesos, the hotels do not exceed 20% occupancy and cruise ships, which in 2011 became 110, now only 14 are planned.

“Violence persists, and tourism takes off,” says Juan Angulo, director of the South , Acapulco a newspaper that drug hit men opened fire and tried to burn in November 2010. Today its just over 60 writers, with an average salary of 8,000 pesos (less than 500 euros), locked up and working the night shift is covered from home. Angle says that violence reached Acapulco in 2005 with the decomposition of the cartel the Beltran Leyva brothers.

Since then the war has not ceased between different groups of organized crime (the sweeper, the sign of the Devil, the independent cartel of Acapulco, Michoacan family, the New Generation Jalisco poster …). The Acapulqueños called generically to all these bands the Dexterity and recruitment areas are colonies gunmen inside the valley, an oven away from beaches.

The hotels do not exceed 20% occupancy and cruise ships, which in 2011 became 110, now only 14 are planned
In the overcrowded colonies and the Simon Bolivar Zapata houses and walls show traces of the blasts of the horns of goats (rifles Ak-47), most shops are closed and absolutely all the police stations. “We are on the pure nerves of the colony because the heart can not. The thugs (criminals) know my car, “said Bernardino Hernandez, freelance photographer while driving a beat-up Volkswagen Beetle for unpaved streets.

Francis is a teacher, a guild that suffered extortion of narcotics for months at a secondary school. Teach teens the Simon Bolivar and does not consider his work frustrating but necessary: ​​”It is a challenge to show them that there are many solutions to the violence and poverty. Violence decreases when groups are reconciled. We live in relative peace. ” Between Thursday and Friday last four bodies appeared in the city.

But the tourism crisis predates the violence. “The success of Acapulco coincides with the end of Havana as a tourist destination as Europe has not yet recovered from World War II,” says Graciela Báez, Secretary of Tourism. “You never have prepared for competition. Other destinations in Mexico emerged as Cancun and Los Cabos, service quality deteriorated and the aliens left. Now the vast majority of domestic tourists are coming, especially Mexico City, since it opened in the nineties the Autopista del Sol which shortened the journey to four hours. The problem of insecurity is temporary, but it was the straw that broke the camel’s back “. The city has lost 6% of tourists compared to 2008, the best year for the sector in Mexico.

However, the glory of the past plays into their beautiful Acapulco bays, lush vegetation, climate and recovery of security in the tourist area. Federal police patrol day and night the Coast, the avenue that runs from north to south the city parallel to the sea, and the Army is present since October began Operation Safe Guerrero . Acapulco represents 80% of GDP in the State of Guerrero .

Exit the lethargy seems to be now at hand. A few weeks ago a group of businessmen, headed by Carlos Slim, in collaboration with state and federal governments launched an initiative to restore the traditional Acapulco. Slim’s interest “is a vote of confidence in the city,” says Alejandra Frausto, director general of Culture of Guerrero. “Since the announcement was made, hoteliers who wanted to sell are waiting and three-picture producers doubted that before being filmed in Acapulco,” he adds.

Suddenly there are plans to improve the infrastructure of the city, cultural events multiply, works to increase direct flights from the USA and the Ministry of Tourism is about to open their website in English. On Friday morning the Coast is a major traffic jam. Acapulco get a second chance.

Link to Original Article:

From El Pais

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