After the Culiacanazo, hoteliers seek to clean the name of Mazatlán

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With their own resources, hoteliers carry out various actions so that the port is not affected by the violent events that occur in the state

Mazatlán, Sin.- On Thursday, January 5, Dalia Martínez was going to travel from Mazatlán to Mexico City after spending a few days on vacation in the port. He got up early to organize his luggage and that of her family when through social network she found out what had been happening since dawn that day in the state: road blockades, cars set on fire and confrontations between criminals and the military, provoked for the capture of drug trafficker Ovidio Guzmán in the city of Culiacán.

At mid-morning the Mazatlán International Airport announced the cancellation of all flights and then she was filled with fear, she thought that something bad could happen to her and her loved ones.

Locked in her hotel room, she followed through the internet all the events that occurred on this “black Thursday” until on Friday at 10 in the morning it was announced that the flights were reactivated; she then rescheduled her departure and she was able to return to her place of origin.

“It was somewhat stressful to stay locked up in the hotel, because we didn’t know if something could happen in Mazatlán, we did feel safe, obviously, but the fear was always there,” she said.

These violent events that spread throughout Sinaloa had a strong impact on the port, since due to road blockades and the cancellation of flights, hotel occupancy fell by half.

Mazatlán had an average occupancy of 90 percent from Friday to Sunday during November and December, but that weekend of the “Culiacanazo” it fell to 40 percent.

Now that the emergency is over, businessmen and hoteliers from Mazatlán seek, with their own economic resources, to clean the name of the port so that what happened does not affect the tourist-economic activity of the city in 2023.

Los Grandes de Mazatlan

After the violent events of last Thursday, January 5, the group “Los Grandes de Mazatlán”, made up of the El Cid Resorts, Palace, Playa Mazatlán, Viaggio Resort and Pueblo Bonito Golf & Spa Resorts hotels, reconsidered the promotion strategy that would be implemented in this 2023.

This group was formed with the firm purpose of promoting the port in search of increasing the economic benefit throughout the destination.

The sales director of the Pueblo Bonito hotel, José Gámez Valle, commented that each property has its strategy as a brand, but that this strategy was reconsidered to determine the economic amount that each of the companies will implement, in addition to the one that each one already uses.

Those are millionaire investments, of which he did not specify the amount, aimed at repositioning the image of Mazatlán and that the tourist is not afraid of coming to the state.

The first stage consists of seminars with travel agencies. At the end of the month, it will begin with Durango, Torreón, Zacatecas; Monterrey and Saltillo, it will follow in February Chihuahua and Tijuana in March.

“We are going to try to cover as much as possible, it is a task that we are starting right now, but we must talk with the airlines, with the commercial allies of that area, we are going to strengthen the name of the big ones as such for reservations in line, strategies in social networks, investment plans for the positioning of the hotel brand and that Mazatlán is ringing in the national market,” he said.

He acknowledged that the violent events recorded at the beginning of January cannot be hidden, but that Mazatlán continues to be a safe destination.

“Reality cannot be hidden, it is an unfortunate fact, but in Mazatlán we are much more than that and what each person does adds up, we would not want it to happen and not talk about it, but we must face it.”

After these events, a group of 21 travel agents from the state of Chihuahua visited Mazatlán with the intention of knowing and living the experience of what the destination offers its visitors.

Gilberto Richarte, general director of Creatur Operadora, affirmed that the agents shared their experience through the promotion of Mazatlán facing the next low season.

Cancellation and rescheduling

Although the cancellations were minor, dozens of tourists postponed their arrival in Mazatlán for at least one or two more weeks.

The president of the Tres Islas Hotel Association, José Ramón Manguart Sánchez, mentioned that regarding the negative image generated by the dissemination of the news in national and international media, it is important that the image of the tourist destination be reinforced.

“There is a media issue that at the time somehow caused or generated the decision of the people to postpone their arrival, there are some who postponed it for a week and there are others who postponed it up to two weeks, but we trust that the occupations that we were generating during the weekends can be regularized”.

Therefore, they will seek the support of the authorities of the Federal Tourism Secretariat and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to join efforts in favor of Mazatlán and Sinaloa.

He stressed that during the violent events, the authorities took appropriate measures for prevention in favor of the port and the well-being of both citizens and tourists, a situation that allowed the activity to resume normally and without regrettable events.

“Mazatlán has a streak of five consecutive years recovering the arrival of cruise ships, with growth in hotel occupancies and real estate investments generating permanent jobs and historical economic spillovers that have made Mazatlán one of the 5 favorite destinations nationwide.”

Restaurants did not drop activity

Luis Sánchez, a restaurant entrepreneur, assured that sales had a drop of barely 10 percent, which was recovered on Saturday, when the food businesses were 100 percent.

The strongest problem was experienced in Culiacán, in Mazatlán the affectation was not so impressive. There is even talk of economic losses of more than 300 million pesos in restaurants in the Sinaloan capital.

Joint work

The Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism and Fisheries seeks that, in a joint effort between businessmen, society and the government, strategic and above all creative promotional campaigns are carried out so that Mazatlán has a good 2023.

“Mazatlán without a doubt leads us to organize ourselves and this situation, despite the fact that Mazatlán seems to be back to normal, of course it commits us to work and redouble our efforts for this coordination, which is undoubtedly one of the main challenges we will have for this 2023,” said Ricardo Velarde, Secretary of Economic Development.

Regarding the repercussions for Mazatlán after the violent events of January 5, he expressed that the situation was addressed from the beginning, both in the attention to tourists who were stranded in the destination and through a campaign on social networks, through the VisitMazatlan page, as well as joint strategies with business chambers and associations related to tourism.

He said that although it is true that the issue of promotion had always been a state issue, since this municipal administration the has been very active, of course, in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism.

“This commits Sedectur, as an authority and all the actors in the tourism sector, to redouble efforts and strengthen the activity, as well as not to forget that Mazatlán’s economy depends a lot on the sector, so positive promotion must be for everyone; businessmen, society and government”.

Cruises are not affected

The activity of the cruises began with force in 2023, since on January 10 and 11, 6 cruises arrived (three each day) with more than 20,000 people on board.

According to the programming of tourist cruises of the Integral Port Administration of Mazatlan, in January there will be a total of 22 boats.

Source: El Sol de Mazatlan