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New Sea Turtle Care Center and Museum for Akumal

Tulum, Q.R. — A new museum for the town of Akumal is in the works and is expected to be up and running sometime next year.

The federal, state and municipal governments will create the Akumal Sea Turtle Care Center and Museum which will be constructed on one hectare to the west of the federal highway. This project contemplates a single ticket office with a fixed price so that from there, the service providers that currently operate in the coastal area of Akumal can make their trips to the contracted routes.

Due to the clashes between those who have permits and the so-called pirates who offer life jackets to enter the sea turtle area, meetings have been held between the three orders of government to place order onto the situation.

Alfredo Arellano Guillermo, Secretary of Ecology and Environment (SEMA), said the project is moving forward. “We have the certainty of the property, which will be at the entrance of Akumal and it will allow us to give the certainty of access to the beach area, establishing a fixed quota for the tourism service. Now we are working on the design and looking for financing so that this project can be a reality in 2018.”

He said the benefits are multiple, first in the social sector since there will be an area where they can work, where they can interact with tourism, and even the cost of the tours can be increased to generate a better economic benefit.

He explained that the image of the disorder will change because there will be no vendors harassing visitors and the rules of operation will be aimed at the protection of the turtles.

As for service providers, he said there are some discrepancies about having to move around in order to make tours sales, but “when we make the statement and say that it is everyone who has to relocate, I think that we can solve the situation without affecting the economic interest.”

There are more than 40 service providers regulated by the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) and the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat).

Several municipal authorities of Tulum have participated in the meetings with the service providers to whom the Sea Turtle Care Center and Museum project has already been presented. Euterpe Gutiérrez Valasis, general secretary said that city council is hoping to bring order and to achieve this, there must be an alliance with the three orders of government.