The tourism sector has been an important source of income and jobs in Mexico. Tourism contributes more than 8% of GDP, thus being the third sector that contributes the most money to the country. The growth of this sector during the last decade had been increasing, despite several economic crises that have occurred, for example, the 2008 financial crisis. However, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), during In 2018 the hotel sector suffered a sustained fall in jobs and also recorded an increase in the number of layoffs, due to a lower hotel occupancy.
Most of the 70 main tourist destinations of the country suffered a fall in hotel occupancy in 2018 with respect to 2017, even during the month of December, in “high season”. The fall in tourism activity can be attributed to several factors; Among the most important are the increase in the perception of insecurity and the consequences attributed to climate change.
Thus, 2018 was the most violent year for Mexico in terms of homicides. Only in Cancún 550 murders were registered and the direct consequence was that the US State Department. UU issue travel alerts where citizens are advised not to visit certain cities in Mexico due to violence. These alerts mention important destinations for the tourism sector such as Quintana Roo, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Chiapas, and Guerrero. On the other hand, since 2015, the coasts of the Mexican Caribbean began to suffer some of the consequences of climate change. An atypical amount of brown marine macroalgae from the Bahamas began arriving at Mexican beaches, preventing tourists from entering the sea. The presence of these algae, known as sargassum, has increased by 40%, with 2018 being the year of greatest accumulation and negative effects for tourism.
The foregoing can cause various economic losses. According to Pablo Azcárraga, president of the National Tourism Business Council (CNET), if this trend continues, in 2019 there could be a 1.6% drop in tourist GDP with respect to 2018.
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