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Cancun celebrates 48 years, noting its successes and insecurities

Cancun, Q.R. — The sun and sand vacation destination of Cancun has celebrated its 48th year, noting both its successes and current security issues.

While the city of Cancun celebrates its 48th birthday with the best tourist numbers in its history, several voices agree that it is also experiencing the worst crisis of insecurity.

In hard numbers, the city rang in its 48th anniversary with 37,300 rooms and an average occupation of 79.8 percent for the end of 2017. It also recorded a record number of tourists, exceeding 5 million last year for the first time with the airport counting 23 million passengers.

Even the State Tourism Secretariat is reporting that between 2018 and 2019, the region is anticipating the construction and opening of 8,622 additional rooms between Cancun and Puerto Morelos. Of that total, 5,155 will be built in the Cancun Hotel Zone.

Yet, the city continues to deal with violence and insecurity that affects not only tourism, but also those who live and work in the region. Carlos Cardín, former Benito Juarez mayor, says that while the 48th anniversary of Cancun reflects the success of the city, it also reflects the problems that are growing.

Although it’s true that Cancún has been an economic engine for the state and in turn a generator of jobs, it is also beginning to experience control problems such as social and security factors.

While not an exclusive problem to Cancun, Cancun is showing signs of insecurity being a top global destination, climbing its way to the top, but at a price.

The National Institute of Statistics and Geography recently announced that Cancun is among the five cities in the country with the highest perception of insecurity by its citizens with 93.2 percent of residents saying they do not feel safe in Cancun.

Carlos Cardín said that this figure is not surprising because every day there is Cancun news about violence and criminal acts. Added to this is the palpable loss in the quality of life, he added, as the population continues to grow, it creates a deterioration of social fabric.

“We are an attractive center for work, which has also been a huge challenge for all since it implies the provision of housing, services and well-paid jobs for people who come every day looking for a better quality of life,” he said.

Rafael Lara Lara, another former mayor of Cancún, agrees that insecurity and the deterioration of the social fabric are the main problems facing the city in its 48th anniversary.

Opinions of former municipal presidents are added the Employers’ Confederation of the Mexican Republic, the Hotel Association of Cancun and the Caribbean Business Coordinating Council whose leaders have stated at different times that insecurity has become the main problem in the tourist destination.

They say the insecurity does affect the tourism sector, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the city’s economy and impacts the entire state of Quintana Roo and is something that has been addressed repeatedly.

At a national level, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography reported that in March of this year, 76.8 percent of Mexicans polled said they do not feel safe in their city.