Cancun, Q.R. — A statement issued by la Asociación de Hoteles says 22 hotels around Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Isla Mujeres have temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 contingency.
The association reports that as of March 22, hotel occupancy rates in Cancun stood at 20.6 percent. In Puerto Morelos it was 11.4 percent and in Isla Mujeres, 9.7 percent. The figures are a staggering decline from the previous week when area hotels recorded an average 80 percent occupancy rate.
Given the current situation, many hotel and tourism workers, including those in shops and restaurants, have been laid off or sent for solidarity breaks without pay.
According to Abelardo Vara Rivera, honorary president of the Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Isla Mujeres Hotel Association, Cancun hotels could be closed for up to six weeks due to the impact of the pandemic.
The lack of tourism from the United States and Europe is leading hoteliers to make the decision to close for possibly six weeks, Vara Rivera said. However, he says that some establishments do plan to open at Easter, although for Easter, they have an occupancy forecast of only 50 percent.