Risky business? Balancing Mexico's pandemic response with tourism
The pandemic's economic effect on the tourism industry has still been devastating.
The world's seventh most popular tourist destination, Mexico's economy has grown to depend on what amounted in 2019 to about $25 billion in income from 45 million international visitors, according to estimates from the National Tourism Business Council (CNET) and a center for tourism research at Universidad Anáhuac.
Mexico saw international tourism income in 2020 sliced to less than half that of 2019, according to those figures. And 2021 isn't looking much better.
"I guess Mexico has been doing what it can do," said birdwatching guide Alex Martínez Rodríguez, but he said he doesn't feel that the populist government is acting in the best interest of the people.
"They did the thing where we were avoiding crowds, keeping people in their houses and doing lockdowns, but that doesn't work because the economy is a little bit different in Mexico," said Martínez Rodríguez, who typically guides at least five tours per week in and around Puerto Vallarta. Now, he's guiding two or three per month.
"We in Mexico know …
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