Mexico's Hotel Occupancy Back to Normal

Just a few days after Hurricane Dean hit the Yucatan Peninsula with winds as strong as 160 mph, Artemio Santos, CEO of the Mexico Tourist Board told Travel Agent hotels in all major tourists areas are up and running with an average occupancy of 30 percent, a number he considers impressive. "To have this number just a few days after a hurricane, and during this season it is considered very good," he said. Hurricane Dean entered the Yucatan Peninsula as a massive Category 5 storm early on August 21 near the Costa Maya cruise port. The effects, however, were minimal. "We really got lucky," Santos said. "But it also showed that we were able to handle a hurricane this time." Santos credited strong preparations and smarter construction of buildings since 2005's Hurricane Wilma to why Mexico avoided a tourism disaster. He said tour operators and agents were better prepared as well, informing their clients of their resorts' hurricane preparedness plan, which includes detailed information on shelters and transportation.