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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of August 31, 2015

Beginning in December 2002, Insider was proudly the first website to provide readers the Cozumel News in English.

Articles are slected from local newspapers which we feel will be of interest to our diverse audience. These articles are then translated into English. We cannot always investigate the veracity of a particular article but offer these translations as a reflection of the Cozumel community news just as reporters write it for Por Esto, Diario de Quintana Roo, Novedades and El Seminario and many other sources.

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Note: All translated articles are the property of Cozumel Insider and cannot be used, displayed or reproduced without express written permission from Cozumel Insider.

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Cozumel Arrivals: 15 Ships this Week
8/30 - Numbers remain low this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals rise to 15 ships registered to dock for the first week of September 2015. This is 1 more than the number of ships last week and 5 less than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season." As low season continues, an estimated 45,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 3.6 million dollars behind in the local economy.

High season for cruise ship arrivals typically runs from November 15 - April 15 each year with the remaining 7 months of the year considered "low season."

This week Puerta Maya pier will be the big economic winner as 10 ships dock there, 4 ships will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 1 arrival and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- arrivals with passengers tendering in.

This week begins with 4 ships docking on Monday, 3 on Tuesday, 2 ships Wednesday, 3 on Thursday, 2 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 1 ship in port and Sunday will see -0- ships in port.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
Cruise Ships Make History in Cozumel
With an annual average of 6 million passengers mobilized in the different Island marine terminals, in four years Cozumel has managed to position itself as the main International tourist port in Mexico and Latin America. Since 2011, the number of visitors on cruise ships who reach the island has remained a major trend to the upside for the economic benefit of Cozumel.

The last four years show a total of 13,851,306 tourists who arrived via cruises to Cozumel, and 11,524,712 passengers crossing by ferry from the mainland via the Maritime Terminal, San Miguel. The owner of Apiqroo, Ercé Barron Barrera, stressed that 2015 will be a historic year for Quintana Roo, in terms of public investment to strengthen the infrastructure of the State, and in particular to Cozumel.

In this regard, he recalled that in the month of July, the Governor Roberto Borge Angulo performed the symbolic laying of the first pile of the mooring of boats annex to the Terminal of San Miguel, which is expected to provide a solution to the current problems of control and image of local and tourist boats.
The Mexican Peso is Stable as USD Increases Strength Worldwide
“Mexico has strong fundamentals in its economy to overcome the increase in the price of the American Dollar, as long as it doesn’t face inflation or an acute economic crisis as years ago,” said Felix Gonzalez Canto, Senator of Quintana Roo. "Inflation is under control. We do not have inflation. This allows Mexico to defend itself from international ups and downs. The fundamentals of the economy of Mexico are what allow us stability at this time. It is even more difficult in other countries," he said.

With the fall of the stock market in Shanghai, the selling price of the US dollar increased to 17.57 pesos at one point last week. González Canto estimated that dollar increase is temporary; in order to prevent radical repercussions as it happens in other countries, as some investors set their tendencies or flows of investment according to the main US interest rate. He explained that Mexico will not have a marked involvement while part of the revenue comes from the sale of petroleum but federal authorities will be faced with the issue to go ahead in order to avoid an economic crisis.
Giant Cruise Ship Visits Cozumel for the First Time
The Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Cruise Line's Newest Cruiser accommodating up to 3,969 passengers and a 1,640 crew, came to Cozumel for the first time last week since it went into operation in 2014 and is expected to arrive every Monday at least through this high season. Other vessels that arrived went practically unnoticed. Víctor Manuel Vivas González, Director of Apiqroo in the Insula, confirmed that this was the first visit of this floating Island to the destination and it will not be the last.

The cruise ship, which docked at the International Cruise Ship pier SSA Mexico, has a gross weight of 145,655 tons, a length of 324 meters and travels at 22.5 knots (42 km) per hour.
Foreign Investment Still Strong in Quintana Roo
Quintana Roo received $ 36.3 million dollars in direct foreign investment during the first half of this year, according to statistics announced by the Federal Ministry of Economics. According to data of the National Commission of Foreign Investment, there were 68 economic societies that presented FDI flows during the months of January to June of this year.

The economic capital invested in the State of Quintana Roo comes from the Netherlands with $ 9.5 million dollars, Spain with $ 8.1 million, Canada with $ 7.2 million and United States with $ 7.1 million dollars and the rest were from other countries. The figure represented a slight variation of $ 0.2 million, compared with the same period of 2014 where the state received $ 36.1 million dollars in direct foreign investment.
Cozumel Places Solar Lighting
As part of the project of Modernization of Cozumel, the City Council initiated the placement of solar lighting in the pedestrian walkway that is Avenue Benito Juarez / Transversal. The director of public works, Humberto Suárez Castillo, mentioned that this project is to provide safe spaces to the families of the island travelling through the area, as well as improve the image that is part of the circuit that tourists and local people use to visit the area of the side East of Cozumel beaches.

In total, about 30 solar lights will be installed on the pedestrian thoroughfare located on the main avenue, in the section that goes from 65th to 90th Avenue South. He mentioned that with these lamps, the municipality will no longer consume a significant amount of electrical energy supplied by the Federal Electricity Commission; in addition this will support the effort to combat global warming through the use of renewable energy from of Sun.

Finally, it was announced that 80% of the pedestrian walkway has been constructed which will feature bays for parking vehicles, benches, bus stops, grassy areas and modern fixtures. This will also benefit merchants that are found in this area.
Health Department Takes Control of Animal Welfare
The Municipal Directorate of Health took charge of the surveillance and management of the Center for Animal Control (CCA), which had been in charge of the Directorate of Environment and Ecology.

According to Jaime Roberto Mariles Torres, Director of Health created in January 2015, stated that this will allow access to economic resources from State and Federal sources to improve the capacity and attention of the CCA. He explained that since last February, when the new administration approved the regulation, it was considered that the CCA should be within the Organization of the Directorate of Health. This includes the supervision of domestic animals and horses which are used by the carriage drivers for tours. He pointed out that the surveillance of zoonotic diseases corresponds to the Ministry of Health, so it is expected to have access to economic resources for sterilization campaigns, change the image of the CCA and perhaps improve their facilities.

Mariles Torres also said that there is an agreement with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry of the Autonomous University of Yucatan for medical specialists to do monitoring and provide advice to the Animal Control Center to improve services.
Constant Monitoring of the Marine Park Continues
National Marine Park Inspectors of Cozumel are constantly monitoring Cozumel’s reefs to prevent poacher fishermen from extracting conch. This type of crime has not been detected so far, but nor has it been ruled out.

The director of the National Marine Park, Cristopher González Baca, continues surveillance to detect stealthy fishermen operating within the Marine Park, since this natural reserve is considered to be a sanctuary for the reproduction of the organisms listed in danger such as the conch.

"We have no confirmation of marine species that have been extracted within the National Park. The latest cases occurred last year when fishermen were arrested in possession of several kilograms of conch and even turtle products," he recalled. Gonzalez Baca, said that the purpose of this surveillance is to prevent illegal poaching of protected or threatened species such as the conch, since in the National Park has been a good location for recovery since it works as a breeding ground.

He pointed out that in case of a surprise, someone committing this crime shall be applied relevant sanctions such as confiscation of the product and of the vessel as well as being turned over to the authorities of the Federal Public Ministry.
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May 5, 2015 (Most Recent) Comprehensive Mexico Travel Warning
Because we are continually asked about travel safety in Mexico and Cozumel, INSIDER always maintains the most recent, complete version of the U.S. State Department Mexico Travel Warning HERE on our website for traveler convenience.

The good news continues to be that there are currently no regional security warnings in place that cover Quintana Roo, Cancun, Cozumel or Costa Maya so make vacation plans now to get here for some fun in the sun!

The Mexico Travel Warning dated December 24, 2014 from the Department of State can also be viewed in its entirety on the Department of State website.
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