Riviera Maya, Q.R. — The proposal to expand the Punta Venado pier for cruise ships has some Riviera Maya businessmen rejecting the idea. Local hotel businessmen say a cruise port could affect their market.
The idea to create the port was part of a proposal made earlier this year by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during negotiations with the American-based company Sac-Tun.
In February, López Obrador and his government began negotiations with the company after saying their permit to extract limestone from the Playa del Carmen pit had expired.
Since then, proposals were made that included the purchase of the land as well as converting the land into a tourist project, which would put an end to their limestone extraction.
Just last week, Vulcan, the American company that owns Playa del Carmen-based Sac-Tun agreed to a tourism project, which could include a Maya Train station and cruise port.
Andrea Lotito, vice president of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association, argued that a cruise port is not the vocation of the destination and says talks about an issue of such magnitude must first include a study to evaluate the environmental impact.
“We will have to know more information so that it can be considered for the benefit of the environment before an economic benefit,” he said.
“Regarding a cruise port, the Riviera Maya Hotel Association has always been against it since this is the vocation of Cozumel and Mahahual. There is no benefit in risking the balance of the Riviera Maya,” he justified.
“We could obtain better economic benefits from the residents of the state’s micro-destinations when their offer is different,” he added.
However, he also said that a port could be beneficial for the Navy in getting rid of the state’s sargassum. “It could be very important for the Navy ships, such as the Natan, so they could have access to the Calica dock to unload the sargassum, since this option does not exist south of Puerto Morelos,” Lotito pointed out.