One of the main concerns that tourists have before visiting Cancun beaches is the amount of sargassum seaweed that they can expect to find at local beaches. The foul smelling seaweed has now constantly been washing up on local beaches, which for years tended to be filled only with immaculate white sand. The Hotels’ Association of Cancun has now committed to provide updates on the state of the beaches on a daily basis.
They mention that they will be relaying that information to international travel agencies. Doing this, in an effort to allow tourists to forecast the sargassum levels that they can expect to see during their visit to the region. At the same time, the president of the local Hotels’ Association, Jesus Almageur, took time to dispel some of the myths around the presence of sargassum in the region. In short, he mentioned that it’s always possible to find at least one beach that is sargassum free on a daily basis.
Providing Updates In Real Time To Combat Misinformation
The president of the Hotels Association mentioned that one of the things that his organization is doing is providing real time updates through the previously mentioned travel agencies. He says that this is being done in an effort to combat the misinformation that has surrounded the sargassum situation on Cancun beaches in the last couple of years.
At the same time he explained that each beach has clean up brigades that have been established in an effort to rid the beach of the foul smelling seaweed if and when it washes up on the shore. In fact, in certain municipalities within the region people who are ordered to serve hours of community service over minor crimes have been spotted as part of these seaweed pickup brigades. The President of the Hotels’ Association mentioned,
“There isn’t sargassum on all beaches every day. That’s why through our international agency, and our social media we give out updates on the sargassum situation daily.”
President Almageur went on to mention that most of the tourists that arrive in the region are well aware of the presence of sargassum. Saying that it’s a natural phenomenon, and tourists that come to the area understand that having to deal with sargassum is a possibility. That has helped with the public perception aspect of things.
Efforts To Rid Cancun Beaches of Sargassum Are Underway
Meanwhile Bernardo Cueto Riestra, Cancun Tourism minister essentially recognized that his organization is fighting a war on two fronts with the sargassum seaweed. On one front they have to deal with the actual appearance of sargassum on local beaches. He reiterated that in coordinated efforts with local authorities they are trying to set up a large sargassum barrier project.
This project would implicate the use of large naval vessels and heavy duty machinery. The main idea behind these efforts contemplates cleaning up the sargassum in the ocean before it even reaches Cancun beaches. A sargassum barrier would have to stretch around 560 miles to be able to cover the entire local shore line.
The second front in which the hotels, and the local tourism industry in general are having to do battle with sargassum is in the court of public opinion. Almaguer was clear that the efforts that are being put in to report on sargassum levels, and sargassum clean up brigades were meant to revert this idea that Quintana Roo is full of sargassum. Despite the “bad press” that sargassum may cause for Cancun beaches, the tourism industry enjoyed a very successful Spring season. Capping off with hotels in the region reporting being filled to 80% capacity over the last week.
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