Tulum, Q.R. — Businesses in Tulum say that the beaches in Akumal have not been privatized and that only one access point was closed due to a court order.
David Ortiz Mena, vice president of hoteliers in Akumal says that the beaches are not privatized in Akumal, and that the community still has several beach access points.
Ortiz Mena explained that by court order, City Council restored ownership of the hotel Club Akumal Caribe, which was illegally seized by a previous administration.
“There are alternatives to access the area of beaches. There are seven access points that are public,” he said. “In addition, the Ecological Center of Akumal has committed to give free access to residents of Quintana Roo 365 days a year.”
Ortiz Mena explained that the center offers various services such as lifeguards, showers and lockers, which is why they charge $5 USD or 100 peso to tourists for the use of its facilities in order to give sustainability to the place.
“We must remember that in the area there is no drainage and there is a high cost to remove the waste water,” he added.
He says too many people are confused and are talking about a privatization that does not exist.
Entry to Akumal Bay by way of the Ecological Center of Akumal is done through metal passage gates. All residents of Quintana Roo, including senior citizens with their INAPAM card and children under the age of 5, are exempt from fees.
To qualify for free entry as a resident of the state, beachgoers must prove residency with official government-issued identification. Owning property, but coming in on a tourist visa, does not qualify as being a resident.
“I think it is important to note that there is a scheme in place where Quintana Roo residents can enter freely and tourists can be given a quality and sustainable service,” he said.
The addition of facilities such as bathrooms is of vital importance since visitors will now be less likely to use the bay for a toilet. During the summer of 2017, there were approximately 3,000 people per day entering the bay to swim with turtles.