Cancun Tourism Weathers Storm
Airport, Hotels, Beaches, and Shopping Centers Operating at 100%
CANCUN, Mexico (August 28, 2007) - "We were very fortunate," explains
CEO, Arturo Escaip of the Cancun Convention & Visitors' Bureau. "We experienced
some rainfall and wind but we virtually came out of this storm unscathed. We
learned a lot from Wilma in 2005, so when Dean was aiming towards us, we were
very well prepared. We persuaded our guest travelers to refrain from visiting
Cancun at least that weekend, and the ones that were already here, went back
home. Emergency management committees met continuously prior to, during and
after the storm to ensure that proper plans were in place to protect our
visitors and residents.
When the storm turned south, the remaining tourists decided to stay in their
hotels, where they were comfortably sheltered in newly reinforced structures.
Now we are back to business as usual."
The Cancun International Airport is operating normally. Area highways are open,
and all public utility services, including electricity, water and telephone
communications, are fully operational. Shopping centers and tourist attractions
are operating normally.
The beaches are open to the public and engineers are making assessments
regarding the continuation of Cancun's beach reinforcement program.
"Our goal is to ensure that all visitors enjoy a superior vacation experience,"
continued Mr. Escaip. "Cancun is in the tourism business. The safety and well-being
of all visitors to Cancun is essential to our economy and will always remain our
first priority. After all, we want all of our visitors to continue to return to
this premier beach destination for years to come."
August 22, 2007 – Tuesday morning, Costa Maya, Mexico’s
fastest-growing tourist destination and cruise port, was hit by Hurricane Dean
after the Category 5 hurricane made landfall at 3:30 a.m.
According to Cesar Lizarraga, Costa Maya’s director of sales and marketing,
approximately 50% of the port’s infrastructure, including the cruise ship pier,
has been damaged by the storm. An early estimate indicates the port will remain
closed for six to eight months while clean up and construction crews work
quickly and efficiently to bring the port back to full operational mode.
Revitalizing the port and surrounding areas represents a multi-million dollar
Costa Maya officials are currently meeting with cruise lines with previously
scheduled port calls to reevaluate schedules. Costa Maya hopes to see a speedy
recovery and have cruise ships calling back to the port as early as mid 2008.
Located on the southern Yucatan Peninsula near the border of Belize, Costa Maya
is sheltered by the world’s second largest coral reef and currently attracts all
the major cruise lines to its shores. Costa Maya features a hotel, a wide
variety of land and sea excursions, and port facilities consisting of three
berthing spaces and a 70,000 square foot state-of-the-art Mayan entertainment
complex that showcases the region’s colonial heritage with all of today’s modern
conveniences. For more information about Costa Maya, visit www.costamaya-mexico.com
or call 011 52 (998) 267 7700.
As we head on out to a self imposed hiatus, preferably a
hiatus that will be substantial, given the subject matter, hurricanes, I’d like
to remind everyone that while Cancun, and the areas within close proximity were
fortunately spared any widespread damages from Hurricane Dean, that some, many,
were not so fortunate.
The Southern Yucatan coastal region of Costa Maya, and further inland Chetumal
and Felipe Carillo, and the surrounding locations, received heavy damage from
surf, wind and flooding due to Hurricane Dean. Early reports are indicating
hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed, roads flooded, crops ruined
and the major tourism Cruise Ship port at Majahual has been severely damaged,
limiting future tourism to the area, and subsequently, severely hampering the
employment situation, of many hard working men and women in the region, as they
seek to cope and recover from Hurricane Dean.
Tue 21 4pm Hurricane Dean didn't cause any damage in area:
Cancun - Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya, Hotels Tours, restaurants are
in optimal conditions and weather is fine, this area was not affected
Xel-ha Xcaret open again next Thursday 23rd
Hurricane Dean damages - News is starting to
trickle out of Costa Maya, the fast-growing Mexican cruise port walloped Tuesday
by Hurricane Dean, and it's not good. After surveying the damage, officials say
the port could be out of action for at least six months, maybe more.
Cesar Lizarraga, the area's director of sales and marketing, says in a
statement that about half of the port's infrastructure, including the cruise
ship pier, was damaged. Lizarraga didn't elaborate on the nature of the damage,
but says that "an early estimate indicates the port will remain closed for six
to eight months" for repairs.
WARDEN MESSAGE –
HURRICANE DEAN APPROACHING QUINTANA ROO
U.S. Consulate Merida
is sending this warden message to inform U.S. citizens of Hurricane Dean, which
is expected to make landfall on Monday, August 20 somewhere between Cancun and
Tulum in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The hurricane’s current track shows
that it may pass near Merida, Yucatan on Tuesday, August 21.
As of the afternoon of
August 17, Hurricane Dean had crossed over the Lesser Antilles and was a
category 3 hurricane with sustained winds near 125 mph. There are hurricane
warnings and watches throughout the region.
The state government
of Quintana Roo has issued a green alert, indicating that the current danger
level is low. Yucatan State has issued a blue alert, indicating that the
current danger level is minimal.
The National Hurricane
Center predicts that Hurricane Dean will pass south of Puerto Rico and approach
the southern regions of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, moving towards
Jamaica, the southern coast of Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.
Providing accurate storm models at this time is difficult, and the trajectory
and velocity of the storm can change at any time.
recommends that the U.S. citizens in Quintana Roo, Yucatan, and Campeche prepare
themselves for the possibility of the hurricane’s landfall in your region.
Citizens should identify their local shelter, monitor local media reports, and
follow the instructions of local emergency officials. In some areas, adequate
shelter from a severe hurricane may not be available to all who may choose to
stay. Visitors should review and follow their hotel or cruise ship evacuation
citizens also should carry their travel documents at all times (i.e. U.S.
Passport, Birth Certificate, picture ID’s, etc.) or secure them in a safe,
waterproof location. We also suggest that American citizens contact friends and
family in the United States with updates about their whereabouts.
Citizens should know
that flights in and out of the area may be suspended at any time, depending on
alerts from the Mexican government. Current flights may fill quickly and flight
delays may occur. Travelers should contact airlines for the latest updates if
they are planning to travel within the next week. The storm also could affect
access to sea ports similarly.
For the most-up-to-date
information on Hurricane Dean, please visit The National Hurricane Center’s
The Mexican government
uses a color-coded system of alerts proceeding from blue (minimal danger) to
green (low danger) to yellow (moderate danger) to orange (high danger) to red (maximum
danger level). To learn more about this system, visit
The U.S. Consulate in
Merida, Yucatan services the states of Quintana Roo, Yucatan, and Campeche. The
Consulate remains open for business but could suspend operations at any time as
the hurricane approaches. The ability of the Consulate to provide assistance
after the hurricane may be limited by communications disruptions and by
conditions on the ground.
The Consulate can be
reached during its regular business hours (M-F, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) by
telephone at 999-942-5700; by fax at 999-942-5777; and by email at
email@example.com. After hours, a duty officer can be reached by calling
the Consulate’s main number.
maintains Consular Agencies in Cancun, Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen. Contact
information for those offices is below:
(tel) 998-883-0272 / (fax) 998-883-1373
(tel) 987-872-4574 / (fax) 987-872-6662
Playa del Carmen: (tel)
984-873-0303 / (fax) 984-873-0481
The U.S. Embassy in
Mexico City will maintain its business hours (M-F, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). You
can reach the Embassy by telephone at (01-55)5080-2000; by fax at (01-55)
5525-5040; and by email at
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