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Hotel Association: theme parks, franchise brands distorts image

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — With two new themed construction projects under way, the president of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association says that such franchises and brands are not necessary.

Jean Agarrista Marfin, president of the Association of Hotels of the Riviera Maya (AHRM), commented that the destination “does not need to bring franchises, brands of this type” saying that Riviera Maya could lose its essence and culture.

This is in reference to the upcoming multi-million dollar Dreamworks / Thrill Park project slated to be built just north of Playa del Carmen. When complete, project investors say they anticipate attracting nearly 4 million visitors per year.

He noted that while diversifying attractions and options for Riviera Maya, this type of attraction “distorts things a little” because it takes away from the region’s essence and culture, adding that even a Walt Disney Park would not generate the same interests here that it would if located in the United States.

In reference to the soon-to-open Nickelodeon themed hotel in Riviera Maya, Agarrista Marfin, said that he does not have data yet to comment on the project, but that the hotel chain, in this case Karisma Hotels & Resorts, already has experience with the brand because they opened one in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

This year, Riviera Maya will play host to the upcoming World Travel Awards, for which Agarrista Marfin called “fantastic” saying, “It is very good for the destination and is the noise that we must make. All these positive events are what we have to divulge so that they see that there are serious and very professional people wanting to do things well.”