Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Tuesday, December 29

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    Today Isla Mujeres continues to report a total of 236 cases of C-19 with 21 deaths and now there are 198 recovered. The state geoportal for 12/29 continues to report 2 active cases by colonia, with one in Amp. La Gloria and the other in La Gloria. On the national map for 12/28, Isla Mujeres reports 171 suspicious and 139 negatives.


The proposed ten dollar tax on foreign tourists is scheduled begin in April, with plans to collect it at the Cancun airport. 
From January to October 2020, 9.8 million tourists visited Q Roo, compared to 21.9 million during that period in 2019.
      In the first few months of the pandemic, Quintana Roo lost more than 100,000 jobs in the tourism sector, which provides about 80% of the state's revenue. Tourism destinations like Cancun, Tulum, and Isla Mujeres turned into 'ghost towns', until little-by-little tourism began rebuilding. In June, the state declared tourism an "essential" industry and reopened hotels & restaurants at reduced capacities.
      The state Secretary of Tourism, Marisol Vanegas said the losses for 2020 are expected to total about 4.6 billion dollars, which is a 30% decline from 2019's 15.4 billion dollars in tourism revenue for the state. She said that 2021 is expected to be a difficult year, given the havoc that the second wave of Covid-19 is causing around the world.
       In 2019, 16 million overnight tourists visited Q Roo, which is estimated to have declined by 30% this year, for a loss of about 4.8 million overnight guests. Another 7 million visitors arrived via cruise ship in 2019. This year, 2.8 million cruise passengers arrived during the first three months, and none since.
     From January to October 2020, only 9.8 million tourists visited Q Roo, which is 12.1 million fewer than that period in 2019. The largest decreases were English (-84.65%); Spanish (-82.85%); Argentinians (74.08%); Colombians (-71.64%) and Germans (-70.46%).
       However, the current number of tourists visiting Quintana Roo from the United States has increased by 23% compared to 2019, according to the Washington Post. With Europe closed to most Americans, Mexico has successfully marketed itself as a desirable alternative.
      Ms Vanegas explained that the most important indicator is airport arrivals, noting the number of arrivals in the three international terminals on the day she was interviewed was 358, compared to about 480 daily just before the formal declaration of the pandemic. (The interview was published on Friday.) She said of the 358 operations, about 180 were arrivals and the majority were from North America. She explained, "We had about 100 arrivals from the US & Canada, which are the strongest internationals.    This is influenced by the high growth of the North American market, which has to do with the fact that they cannot travel to Europe."
      Despite restrictions in European countries, part of that market has also recovered, including flights from the UK. This week the President of Mexico said those flights wouldn't be suspended after the spread of a new, more contagious strain of SARS-CoV-2. Ms Vanegas said, "Just this week British Airways arrived with very large flights of 380 passengers. We also have flights from Air France, Evelop has also started flying, and Lufthansa. These are the most important Europeans." At this time there are nearly 80,000 tourists in the state, which is expected to increase by the end of the year, due to the Christmas season.
     Quintana Roo has 110,000 hotel rooms, which are allowed to rent at 60% while the state epidemiological light is in yellow. However, the state government granted hotels a special permit allowing them to increase maximum capacity to 80% between Dec. 21, 2020 and February 21, 2021, due to the anticipated high demand during the Christmas holidays and the winter months.
     The Hotel Association of Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Isla Mujeres, who represent about 38,000 rooms, said that even with 60% occupancy, they're still losing money, because many have had to lower their rates to attract customers. Although they hope to end the year with 60% of their rooms occupied, prior to October occupancy rates were averaging less than 35%.
     Ms Vanegas said that although many rooms were empty this year, no accommodation went bankrupt. She said 8000 or 9000 new hotel rooms are built and opened yearly and that same number has been maintained. She defended the $10 tax on international tourists, saying it is a necessity and has to do with the economic situation which the state will be in next year. In response to hoteliers who think the fee will discourage international visitors she commented "No tourist anywhere in the world makes a decision because in one place they do or don't charge ten dollars." The Governor said the fee will be probably be charged at the airport upon departure, and noted that other countries charge similar fees and that Baja California has airport kiosks where this is paid. One legislator commented that this is burdensome because international tourists already pay a national fee of slightly more than 500 pesos, while another noted it won't apply to children and seniors. This fee is expected to generate 300-400 million pesos annually to help pay for public infrastructure and resources used by tourists.
Written by Ronda Winn-Roberts
Sources--Infobae, Washington Post, SEDETUR

 From the City (Ayuntamiento de Isla Mujeres) 

Caption--Taking care of your health is the most important thing, follow the hygiene recommendations to avoid the spread of Covid-19. Graphic--The use of face masks is mandatory whenever you leave the house

 From the Mayor--Isla Mujeres is the perfect place to receive the new year's energy 2021.

 La Tertulia 

La Tertulia reports  Baltazar Maldonado Tun, director of business organization CANIRAC, said that activity for the restaurant sector of Isla Mujeres is at 70%, which is an increase from about 40% last weekend. He said that the both domestic and international tourists are visiting this Pueblo Magico, which is providing services in compliance with all protocols that COFEPRIS recommends to prevent the contagion and spread of covid-19, including operating at 60 percent of the business's capacity.

  Isla Mujeres al Dia 

Isla Mujeres al Dia reports hotel occupancy is about 50%, which is much less than is usual at this time of year. 


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Fine dining a few steps away at Da Luisa or try the neighborhood eateries a couple blocks farther. We provide a list of links & direction to over 20 eateries within ten minutes walk, including Mango Cafe,  Mike's Pizza, Brisas, Rosa Sirena, Coco Jaguar, Manolitos, La Chatita, Green Verde, Kash Kechen Chuc, and the large department store-grocery Chedraui & the local craft brewery.  Visit marinas, bars, & beach clubs that are minutes away by bike or on foot. Attend Yoga classes a couple villas away at Casa Ixchel. Fresh juice, produce & tortillas a few blocks away in the village, as well as a variety of other stores.
Full moon rising over the Caribbean  


Full moon Nov 30 Monday 6:28p

Dec 1-Tuesday at 7:15p

Dec 2 Wednesday at 8:06p

Dec 3 Thursday at 9:01p

Dec 4 Friday at 9:58p

 Sunrise 7:08-7:24 (beginning vs end of month)

Sunset 6:04-6:16


Public events have been suspended due to C-19. Holidays have featured online competitions and events. 

The usual Patron Saint festivities from late November until her Día de la Inmaculada Concepcion on December 8th are suspended, but the priest will celebrate a Mass with a holy rosary each day for each of the groups and organizations, according to a schedule.

Saturday, Dec. 12 Dia de Guadalupe, Patron Saint of Mexico

Sunday, Dec 13-14 Peaking of the Geminid meteor shower--This is one of the two best showers of the year (the other is August Perseids). The sky will be dark all night (new moon) & the largest numbers will be visible around 2a (when the radiant point is highest in the sky). But you should see them from mid evening until dawn, weather permitting. There should be a 'smattering' of meters the nights before & after, and it builds to a peak the week before. This shower features meteors that tend to be bold, white and quick, with up to 50-150 per hour when peaking in optimal conditions, like this year's moonless sky. On Dec. 11,12,13, the slender lunar crescent and planet Venus will rise in the eastern sky at or near dawn. 

Posadas Navidenas Dec 16-24 will be suspended along with the decorated Caravans. 

Monday, Dec. 21-Solstice & convergence of Saturn & Jupiter in the SW sky after sunset

Tuesday, Dec 22-Dark predawn hours-Ursid Meteors (active Dec 17-26, much less than Geminids)

Thursday, Dec. 24 Noche Buena--Many families celebrate, so some businesses may close early and the last ferry crossing could be suspended, as well as the first one on Christmas morning. 


Friday, Dec 25- Christmas

Dec 27-Jan 10-Quadrantid meteors, which will peak Jan 2-3, but the moon will interfere. 

Monday, Dec 28-Dia de los Santos Innocentes--Similar to "April Fool's Day"

Thursday, Dec 31-The annual New Year's celebration on the Town Square is cancelled.

Sources for Weather Information:
LINK to Civil Protection Q Roo weather bulletin  (Spanish)
LINK to Mexico National Weather Service (Spanish)
 LINK to satellite images for the Mexico National Weather Service
 LINK to GOES East Band 16 GIF (animation)
LINK to a private weather station on Isla Mujeres


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