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Cruise company interested in Riviera Maya home port, not Cozumel

Cozumel, Q.R. — Cozumel mayor Pedro Joaquin Delbouis says there is interest from cruise companies for the construction of a home port, but in Calica or Xcaret. He says that the home port project of Cozumel, however, continues at the fourth pier.

Given the refusal of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to allow the departure of cruise ships due to pandemic, the Royal Caribbean cruise company has expressed interest in operating from Calica in Riviera Maya, where they can also take advantage of the infrastructure and connections of the Cancun International Airport.

The intention to build a home port in Calica, an area south of Playa del Carmen, was communicated by Royal Caribbean executives to the president of the Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Isla Mujeres Hotel Association, Roberto Cintrón, who made it public at a press conference.

The businessman said that he was informed by Royal Caribbean that if the CDC does not allow the cruise company to leave in May, they will seek to leave via Quintana Roo and will seek to carry out their project of a home port in Calica.

Cintrón was accompanied by the president of the Hotel Association of the Riviera Maya and Cozumel, Antonio Chávez Palomo and Juan Pablo Müdespacher Blasco and Ramón Roselló, manager of the International Investment Association.

However, the issue rekindled the opposition of the local and international hotel industry, whose representatives in Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Puerto Morelos, Riviera Maya and Cozumel spoke out against the project unless, they said, it is located on the island of Cozumel, even temporarily, whose vocation is essentially the cruise market.

“The position of our associations is to make a home port in Cozumel and not anywhere in the continental part of Quintana Roo,” they said.

Hotel leaders stressed that the industry is currently overwhelmed by problems prior to the coronavirus pandemic, such as insecurity, travel alerts, the massive recall of sargassum and the lack of institutional promotion by the federal government.

They explained that although the construction of new hotels in the Mexican Caribbean is planned, the projects are on hold, rates have fallen, as have reservations, which has generated unemployment and that translates into social problems.