Mexico Tourism Officials Monitoring H1N1's Impact on Sector

The Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) Rodolfo Elizondo and CEO of The Mexico Tourism Board, Oscar Fitch, are working cohesively with Mexico's National Trust Fund for Tourism Development (FONATUR) to form an integrated evaluation committee with Mexico’s tourist destinations to monitor the impact that the H1N1 virus is having on the sector.

Elizondo explained that, as of last week, a series of monitoring and mediating actions have been taken to track the impact but the numbers are, as of now, not complete. The recent monitoring from all the destinations has shown very preliminary information in regard to hotel vacancies, flight, cruise and meeting cancellations. The Ministry of Tourism is hopeful that once the situation is under control, it will be possible to face the challenges that will have arisen from this situation and it is at that time that a plan of action in favor of the tourism industry will be established that will be accurately based on more precise information.

In regard to the spread of the illness on a national level, the Ministry of Health reports that Mexico is seeing a trend in the reduction of cases and, in their May 3 update, the World Health Organization (WHO) clarifies that the new confirmed cases in Mexico are actually the results of previously submitted lab samples, a fact that is important to emphasize and clarify-these are not new cases. It is also important to stress that WHO has maintained its stance of not restricting international travel or the closing of borders. At the same time, they do recommend that people who do experience flu-like symptoms immediately seek medical advice upon arrival from their international destinations.


Iberostar to Temporarily Shut Down Some Riviera Maya Hotels 

Due to decreased travel to Mexico as a result of the H1N1 virus, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts has temporarily closed some of its hotels in Mexico beginning Friday, May 8. According to a written statement, “This measure is being taken in order to continue maintaining the high level of service that Iberostar is known for and provide guests with a memorable vacation experience.”

Guests who have booked upcoming stays or are currently staying at the hotels that will be closed have been informed and upgraded to other nearby Iberostar properties. Properties slated to close include Iberostar Paraiso del Mar (guests will be upgraded to Iberostar Paraiso Lindo); Iberostar Paraiso Beach (guests will be upgraded to Iberostar Paraiso Lindo); Iberostar Quetzal (guests will be upgraded to Iberostar Paraiso Lindo) and Iberostar Tucan (guests will be upgraded to Iberostar Paraiso Lindo). Reopening dates are tentatively scheduled for June 1 and will depend on increased travel to Mexico. During the closure of current hotels, Iberostar will use the time to perform previously scheduled maintenance and upgrades.


Riviera Nayarit Reports No Cases of H1N1 Flu, Schools and Businesses to Reopen 

Health officials announced Wednesday, May 6, that Riviera Nayarit in Mexico has no reported cases of the H1N1 virus to date. The announcement was made by Dr. Omar Reynozo Gallegos, minister of health for the state of Nayarit, along with Dr. José Ángel Córdova Villalobos, national secretary of health of Mexico. Villalobos also advised at a press conference yesterday that since there are no cases of the H1N1 virus in Nayarit, schools will reopen as well as restaurants and other local businesses this week.


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