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Ritz-Carlton, Cancun GM “The Worst is Over”August 14, 2009 By: Joe Pike
CANCUN, Mexico – Travel Agent is on location for The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun’s Mayan Acquaintance Experience, where we had the opportunity to sit down one on one with General Manager Hermann Elger, who told us that, despite a tough year, Mexico is bouncing back.
“We were hit with a perfect storm and just because we are the Ritz-Carlton, it doesn’t mean we weren’t affected just as much as every other hotel was, but it seems as though the worst is over,” Elger says.
The “perfect storm” Elger was referring to was the U.S. economy woes that have hurt the industry in general, gang-related violence that occurred near U.S. bordering Mexico states earlier in the year and the ongoing swine flu scare, which has since become a global issue.
“It seems as though it was one thing after a another,” he says, “but it appears as though things are getting back to normal.”
Although occupancy is down on the year, Elger says loyal Ritz customers kept it from getting out of hand. “There were so many repeat customers that saw the problems that were going on in Mexico and how the hotels were losing business and they decided to come just for that reason,” Elger says. “The Ritz clients are loyal and when they saw that we needed their business the most, they came.”
On a rare positive note in Mexico this year, it appears as though The Ritz-Cartlon, Cancun and other properties in the destination have gotten most of their beaches back. When Travel Agent visited last year, the beach at the Ritz-Carlton, Cancun was practically nonexistent as erosion slowly wiped out most of its pristine beaches. It looks as though the property has gained more than half of its beach back.
“It’s good to get some positive news for a change,” Elger says, “and the fact that our beaches are back means a lot for the hotel and for the destination.”
Travel Agent concludes this press trip on Sunday. The trip is a volunteer tourism trip in which media members were invited to take part in the property’s many facilities and also get their hands dirty, helping the Mayan community build a playground in its school.