COVID-19 has affected Mexico since February 27 of this year and with it, the people’s mobility and interaction has been restricted. One of the most vulnerable sectors to these measures is the Tourism sector.

According to preliminary figures from the World Tourism Organization, a loss of approximately 45 billion dollars is estimated, and a decrease between 60 and 80% in the arrival of international tourists in 2020. To equate these figures, that means losing almost twice the amount of foreign exchange registered in 2019.

The situation is complex and challenging for everyone, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises and the population that depends on them. José Benigno Torres, President of the San Miguel de Allende Business Coordinating Council, stated that, at least in this tourist destination:

“There is a risk of 60% of hotels closing permanently, and around 40% of restaurants… And those of us who are going to transcend this epidemic face particularly important challenges: we must reinvent the way in which we provide our services and learn from this huge health crisis.”

As a consequence, business dialogues have been taking place in several parts of the country, reflecting upon the way tourism developed before the crisis and if it is adequate for this new reality. Likewise, some reflections are being shared regarding the lessons that should permeate in future sector decisions. The Bahía de Banderas and Puerto Vallarta Business Association (AEBBA), through its president, Jorge Villanueva, stated:

“The great lesson that COVID leaves us is the folly of humanity by not protecting nature, in many areas. We cannot go back to doing things the same way. We have to be more socially and environmentally responsible.”

Without a doubt, the total impacts on tourism will be documented with more certainty in the months following the end of the pandemic and in accordance with the mobility regulations that each country establishes. Therefore, this moment is an opportunity to create creative strategies that permit the economic, social, and environmental recovery of the country.

For more information, we invite you to read a special newsletter on COVID 19 and Tourism (in Spanish).