City Follows Similar Moves From Other Countries In Supporting Ukrainians During Invasion
Cancun’s tourism board is making plans to help support Ukrainians who are potentially stranded in the city. Plans are being approved to allow free or heavily subsidized accommodations for any who need them.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine last week sparked a massive humanitarian crisis across the globe. In Ukraine itself, more than a million citizens have fled to avoid the danger in their cities. But thousands of Ukrainians were abroad when the invasion took place, leaving many of them unsure of where to turn next.
A meeting between the Ukrainian ambassador to Mexico and the Secretary of the Cancun Tourism Board, Bernardo Cueto Riestra, this week sought to establish some support systems for any Ukrainians who may still be in the region or manage to reach Quintana Roo in the near future.
The first policy that was established was accommodation. A plan has been decided, although the details have yet to be released, allowing Ukrainians seeking refuge in Cancun free or subsidized accommodations in selected hotels in the city. At this point, it is unclear how long this would be available, and what the criteria would be for receiving free accommodation or subsidized.
A plan was also built to ensure that any Ukrainians who wish to return home, whether to fight or to lend support to their country would have flights made available to them at certain times. Once again, the exact specifications of these plans are currently unclear.
Last week, the first flight landed in Cancun bringing both refugees and Mexican nationals from Ukraine. Mexico still has many nationals stuck in the region trying to get home. A national coordination attempt is underway to locate and bring them all back, as well as cooperative attempts from other countries in Central and Southern America.
The Russian invasion is having a huge impact on the world, and tourists may be the next to feel the ripples from the crisis. The US has just banned Russian oil which may increase the cost of fuel even further. The US only uses a small portion of Russian oil, but if any European countries follow suit, a much larger increase can be expected. With an increase in fuel, flight prices will also rise along with the cost of most general commodities.
Cancun is expecting a huge year for tourism, with more than 3 million expected in the region over the next month or so. A drastic change in those numbers would be a blow to the city. But after two years of pandemic life, pent-up frustrations at the lack of travel may outweigh the cost for many meaning the crowds won’t be going anywhere.
The Governor of the state was criticized last week for suggesting the Ukraine crisis may actually help Cancun’s tourist industry. With instability in Europe, many Americans that were intending on a transatlantic trip may switch their plans and head south instead. Many social media users jumped online to suggest he was showing a lack of compassion, regardless of how true his statements may end up being.
The main loss in tourists may come from Europe, as awkward no-fly zones make some itineraries tough to complete. Add the possibility of any political shifts while on vacation, and a lot of Europeans may refrain from venturing too far away from home.
It remains to be seen how much more of an impact the conflict will have on Cancun, but for now, the city can look forward to a strong few months.
Tourists should keep on top of any political developments as well as COVID restrictions in their own country and Mexico to avoid disappointment.
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