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Latino Daily News

Monday December 31, 2012

Financially Ailing Mexico Gets Boost From Hotel Industry

Financially Ailing Mexico Gets Boost From Hotel Industry

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The Mexican Pacific resort city of Acapulco, which is experiencing a severe financial crisis, is getting a boost from the hotel industry, which reported an occupancy rate of 97 percent, up 12.6 percentage points from a year ago.

The latest figures, which were released by Acapulco municipal tourism director Netza Peralta, are the result of a change in the perceptions of visitors, Guerrero state Gov. Angel Aguirre said.

“The recovery of confidence has to do with the design of a new security strategy among the three levels of government, of which we are seeing the first results,” Aguirre said.

The governor called on tourism industry executives to offer visitors quality services because that will determine whether the Pacific port city will become both a vacation destination and a weekend getaway.

The state government will continue to promote big events next year, such as the concert over the weekend in Acapulco by Spanish tenor Placido Domingo that drew nearly 20,000 people, Aguirre said.

Federal Police officers, state police and city police, as well as army troops and marines, have been deployed in Acapulco’s tourist and residential areas during the holidays to maintain order.

Acapulco is mired in a financial crisis, with officials unable to obtain loans due to the city’s high outstanding debt.

The municipal government was prevented from obtaining a bank loan of 80 million pesos ($6.1 million) because of its existing debt problems, Acapulco Mayor Luis Walton said last Friday.

Acapulco, one of Mexico’s most famous tourist destinations, has been plagued by drug-related violence in recent years.

The Guerrero state government launched a security operation last year with the support of the federal government to step up security in areas frequented by foreign and domestic tourists.

“Operation Safe Guerrero” was launched on Oct. 6, 2011, in an effort to reduce the soaring crime rate in the state.

Acapulco, a favorite among Mexican and foreign tourists for decades, has lost business to other destinations due to the violence.

Former President Felipe Calderon made an appearance in the Pacific resort city in May to officially launch the “Todos por Acapulco” program, which is based on an initiative implemented in the border city of Ciudad Juarez to end drug-related violence and promote development.