Cancun, Q.R. — After hundreds of tourists were affected by a recent Cancun Hotel Zone protest in the form a road block, associations are asking for tough penalties. Jesús Almaguer Salazar, the President of the Association of Hotels of Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Isla Mujeres, is calling on authorities to enforce roadway blockade regulations in the Hotel Zone.
He says protests and demonstrations that block roads in the Cancun Hotel Zone are prohibited. He says that the Association intends to “get to the bottom” of the protest that affected hundreds of tourists by finding those responsible and proceed with a formal legal complaint.
Salazar pointed out that these types of road blocks not only affect tourists, but also cost the hotel industry a lot of money in losses. He commented that although the incident was for genuine reasons, it was unfortunate.
“There is a regulation that prohibits blocking the Hotel Zone for whatever reason and we are going to demand that it be complied with,” he said.
The Association, which represents more than 200 hotels and 53,000 rooms, issued a statement detailing its position. At least 250 tourists were reported to have had their flights affected due to the protest.
“We are going to get to the bottom of the matter to see what or who manipulated these people and sue so that damages be compensated,” Salazar stressed, referering to the “hijacking” of Kukulcan Boulevard, which is the only access road in and out of the Cancun Hotel Zone.
The Caribbean Business Coordinating Council (CCE) also agreed that last Wednesday’s incident was unfortunate and that road blocks are not the way to express claims since blocking circulation and affecting tourists who are not related to the issues takes away from the image of the entire destination.
“No problem justifies the way in which these blocks are being made. It is truly a shame that free expression is used in this way. It is not the way, it is not good for the destination, it harms us all and it will harm those who demonstrate,” said Eduardo Martínez González, president of the CCE.
“The industry is greatly affected. They are affecting all sectors since it is a single round trip, many people who missed their flights, many who did not arrive at work on time, many who they were stuck, events canceled as a result of this blockade,” added Julio Villarreal, president of the National Chamber of the Restaurant and Seasoned Food Industry (Canirac).
Last week, a group of protesters took to blocking both lanes of the Cancun Hotel Zone access road for more than six hours, causing tourists to miss flights, workers to miss work and traffic to become severely congested.