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Not all Akumal Bay turtle guides accredited

Tulum, Q.R. — The Tulum Hotel Association is urging visitors, domestic and foreign, to take safety measures when taking guided turtle swim tours in the Bay of Akumal.

It’s been learned in recent weeks that some service providers have emerged without accreditation or training, which has resulted in fatal accidents.

According to the Tulum Hotels Association, the General Directorate of Wildlife, a unit of SEMARNAT, individuals and cooperatives were granted the authorization to conduct guided swimming tours with turtles.

“Permits were granted without checking or requiring service providers and their guides to have instruction or training, such as swimming and water rescue,” they said in a statement.

“It was not verified that they have the necessary infrastructure for the adequate provision of the service nor the insurance required to respond in case of accidents and / or damages,” they added.

The Hotel Association of Tulum says that providers of turtle swimming services of the Bay of Akumal have the following conditions:

1) Guides accredited to the Secretariat of Federal Tourism as “Tour guides for the interpretation of nature, specialized in swimming with turtles, under NOM-TUR-009-2002”.
2) Liability insurance and medical care in the event of an accident.
3) Showers for users to rinse prior to entering the water since the sun blockers and other chemicals cause damage to the species of the bay.
4) First aid equipment and trained and certified personnel.
5) Municipal Operating Licenses.

Visitors to the area using these services are encouraged to check that the company of their choice has these basic requirements as this will ensure the safety of visitors, tourists and even turtles.