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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of July 21, 2014

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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.

We appreciate hearing from our readers and welcome your questions, suggestions and comments. Please send them to: questions@cozumelinsider.com

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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EDITOR's NOTE: Tourism is a large part of the economic engine that runs ALL of Mexico so it’s normal for everyone to try to protect that engine at all costs. But given the fact that over 83,541 people (a/o 12/31/11 per El Diario report of 08/04/12) were killed in this country, 30,000 are missing and 20,000 children were orphaned while Calderon was in office (20006 - 20012) and fighting the drug cartels, it is simply imprudent to bury one’s head in the sand and keep expecting travelers to believe the “it’s safe” story about Mexico. The Pina Nieto administration has not changed course concerning the cartels but instead modified its approach concerning the reporting of such government activities. Little information is available now via official channels other than statistics with regard to criminal activity within Mexico

Some of the news related items shared here attempt to illustrate common themes which I think are extremely important for part time islanders or travelers to understand now:

1) These are not the sleepy fishing villages of days gone by - Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel tout themselves as "world class" tourism destinations with over 3 million visitors each annually and as such will attract their proportionate amounts of crime.

2) There IS rising crime in these areas (so be ALERT and AWARE of your surroundings) yet the majority of crime goes unreported so there is no real way to have confidence in the few statistics that are released for this area.

3) Local/state police/judges, are for the most part, corrupt and usually complicit with criminal activity so they are not necessarily going to help you…especially if you are a foreigner. These "public servants" are only looking for a way to extort you (REALIZE you are on your OWN if anything should happen).

NEWS Archives:
Cozumel Arrivals: 15 Ships this Week
07/20 - Numbers remain the same this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals stay at 15 ships registered to dock for the third full week of July 2014. This is the same as the number of ships the past 2 weeks and 5 less than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season" beginning. With summer now in full swing, an estimated 45,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ship arrivals 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."

Once again this week Puerta Maya pier will be the big economic winner as 9 ships dock at Puerta Maya, 4 will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 2 arrival and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- ship arrivals.

This week begins with 3 ships docking on Monday, 3 on Tuesday, 1 ship Wednesday, 5 on Thursday, 2 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 1 ship in port and Sunday will see -0- ships.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
Cozumel Receives Many Visitors But Little Revenue
Despite the number of people seen in the streets and shopping centers in the downtown area of the Island this past week, owners of various establishments agreed that sales have not recuperated as they had hoped.

In just one day it was estimated that around 12 000 cruise passengers arrived and they could have left an estimated economic impact for approximately US$ 960,000. However, vendors of crafts shops, jewelry stores and other shops located in the main Avenue, Rafael E. Melgar, stated that sales were not high. In some cases the amount of sales reached barely rescued the day.

On the other hand, rent- a -car agencies said that sales were higher since this is one of the services most demanded by groups of cruise ship passengers. Tour services that include visiting the natural parks of the island such as San Gervasio, Punta Sur, Chankanaab as well as the tours of the East coast of the island, were the most sought after.

Sales personnel in crafts and souvenirs stores that operate independently pointed out that sales are very low, since revenues are not expected when the cruisers are more inclined to use tour services. For them it is more beneficial when there are few cruisers with a higher purchasing power.
Cozumel Beaches Healthy and Ready to Receive Visitors
The summer vacation period has started and the State Directorate of protection against health risks, reports healthy conditions at public beaches and beach clubs on the island for the thousands of tourists and local swimmers who will visit this season. The Deputy Director and the State Secretariat of health (Sesa), Efraín Alonso Sansores, reported that they anticipate the start of the longest vacation period of the year with testing nine sampling points identified by the Federation as permanent monitoring areas.

"In addition to those nine points, three additional areas which see large tourist flows and local swimmers , were considered as important areas for testing, so we have information of 12 additional points on the island", he said. The official said that surveys are conducted at least once a month in these nine areas; however, with the proximity of the holiday period, testing was intensified to rule out any risk situation.

"At this moment we are completely free of all contamination and enterococci levels are within the standard that does not represent risks the health of bathers, so tourists and families of the island will be safe to enjoy their vacation on the beaches," he stressed.

Verified beaches are: Casitas Beach, Mezcalitos, Punta Sur, San Martín, Chen Rio, Chankanaab and other areas in this perimeter.
Maintaining the Miami- Cozumel Flight Connection
Despite the fact that American Airlines was considering cancelling the Miami to Cozumel flight, the Secretary of Tourism for Quintana Roo (Sedetur), Laura Lynn Fernández Piña said that promotion is not only in United States but also in Europe and Latin America and this should improve the number of occupied seats.

At the end of June 2014, Cozumel hotels announced that the flight had little demand and was more expensive than the direct flight to Cancun. In this sense, Laura Fernández argued that the price of tickets depends on the airline and is a strategy to protect its other routes.
Last November 21, 2013, representatives of American Airlines, State and Municipal authorities opened the route Cozumel-Miami with five weekly flights with capacity for 2,400 passengers.

Seven months later, Beatriz Tinajero Tarriba, President of the hotel association said that factors such as the high prices of tickets and lack of passengers increase the possibility of losing the direct connection. She said that with 60% occupation of passengers flying at this time, this should ensure the flight’s permanence. In terms of the promotion strategy in Latin America and Europe to increase the seat occupancy of this connection, she did not give details but said that Miami is an important link for those destinations and tourists that come to Cozumel must pass through there.
Consumer Protection Agency Keeps a Close Watch
The Consumer Protection Agency (Profeco) pays close attention if by chance they receive complaints from domestic or foreign tourists. This attention is intensified during the holiday season, reported the delegate of the Riviera Maya, Nora Bertha Mendoza Ayala. The official said that they give special attention to visitors who are generally abused by providers of accommodations and food services during the holidays
PROFECO pays great attention to the rates offered by hotels for guests, since this is one of the main reasons that foreigners and tourists present grievances to the federal agency. Should the occasion arise, the toll-free line for filing complaints is 01-800-86-88-722. The complaint is received and information verified and if necessary, a file is opened to determine the sanction that corresponds and to check for abuse of the consumer of any product or service.
Working Hard for the Reforestation of Cozumel
According to data provided by staff of the Directorate of ecology and environment (DEMA) and the National Commission of natural protected Areas (Conanp) of Cozumel, between 80 - 90% of the territory of the island of Cozumel (approximately 647.33 km2) still has tropical trees. Last Saturday under the direction of Eliot Reyes Novelo (director of DEMA) and personnel of the Soriana supermarket chain, 50 trees were planted on 39 Avenue between 30 and 65.

Reyes Novelo explained that these actions are part of the work of the municipal campaign: "Reforesting Cozumel" - planting for tomorrow. The municipality of Cozumel pledged in April this year with the organization ”Plant for the Planet” to plant 100 trees each month. However, Mayor Fredy Marrufo Martín instructed DEMA to double the figure.

The representatives of the chain Soriana suggested they assist in the operation of planting trees and joined efforts with town hall. The DEMA official said that the growth of the city has deforested many areas and with the directions of urban development and public utilities it has been detected that the reforestations of the past were made with species that did not correspond with its appropriate environment.
Eliot Reyes pointed out the need that from an early age we must learn the importance of conservation of the island forest and natural resources which are habitats to many species of animals and birds some of which are only found in Cozumel.
Cozumel Requests Assistance For Re-Paving
The City Council of Cozumel requested up to $ 20 million pesos from the State Government for the repair of 109,000 square meters of roads including the North Hotel zone and stretches of the colonias of El Centro, San Miguel , Andrés Quintana Roo and the 8 of October among others that have been affected by the rains this according to the Technical Secretary of the community Ricardo Espinosa Freyre.

Ricardo Espinosa Freyre said that still there is no notice of approval, or amounts that would target the federal Government through the National Fund for natural disasters (Fonden) Espinosa Freyre, said that so far the status of this request is pending stating that the Federal resource management process takes time. Everything is put into priorities.

It has been announced that the city of Chetumal is already awaiting $150 million pesos to be approved and that includes support for housing and affected persons.
Mexico Invites Visitors to Tour Archaeological Sites
The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) invite the public to know Mexico cultural sites this summer. This consists of 121 museums and 187 archaeological zones throughout the country that are open to the public.

In Quintana Roo alone INAH offers 18 archeological sites distributed throughout the State. However the busiest and most popular are San Miguelito, El Meco, El Rey, Tulum, Coba and Xel-Há. Just a few hours away, visitors can travel to the neighboring state of Yucatán and visit Dzibilchaltun, Chichén Itzá,Uxmal and Loltun among other places of anthropological interest, advises the Notimex Agency. Access to these sites is free every weekday day for children under 13 years, as well as for students, teachers and the elderly with current credentials. Sunday admission is free for all Mexicans and residents.
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July 12, 2013 (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 July 12, 2013 from the Department of State can also be viewed in its entirety on the Department of State website.
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