Jimm Budd’s News From D.F.

Acapulco loses Tianguis

Gloria Guevara, Minister of Tourism, confirmed on Tuesday that the Tianguis Turistico trade show no longer will be held in Acapulco, the venue since 1976. Among the reasons given are the importance of showing off what else Mexico has to offer. Not mentioned was the violence associated with gang wars, deterioration of meeting facilities, dwindling air service and more. Critics, for their part, argue that no other destination offers the same inventory of rooms or ease of transportation. The Tianguis now will “wander,” although just where it will be held in 2011 remains to be announced.

Quiet Sunday

Placido Domingo last night (Tuesday) presented a special concert in the city where he got his start. I received tickets as a birthday present. The tenor recalled how in 1959 he was a chorus boy in the production of Mi Bella Dama (My Fair Lady) at Bellas Artes (the Palace of Fine Arts). That is where I first heard him, in the company of the woman who became my wife. As an understudy, our hero on occasion sang “The Street Where You Live.” His director suggested that he try out for the local opera company. The rest, as they say, is history.

Huatulco waits and wait

One of the original five master-planned resort areas promoted by Fonatur (National Tourism Development Fund), Huatulco languishes. A group of bays on the Pacific, about 200 miles east (look at a map!) of Acapulco, by now Huatulco was supposed to have as many hotel rooms as Cancun. No way. Most of the original names (Sheraton, Crowne Plaza, Club Med) are gone and a promised re-launching might be said to have sunk. Angel Cruz, president of the local hotel association, and Alejando Zozoya, general director of AM Resorts, are among those expressing disappointment. Big need is a modern highway inland to Oaxaca, something that has been promised for years. Promises continue to be made.

Aviacsa Sets the Date

Nearly a two years after it suspended operations and sought bankruptcy law protection, Aviacsa intends to takeoff once again. Inaugural flight is set from Mexico City to Monterrey on May 2, but some charter flights me be approved before then. International service, however, will not be re-instituted until 2013. These announcements should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. Mexicana gave several dates for its return to the air, but remains grounded. In Aviacsa, Roberto Madero has invested 4o million dollars and has plans to invest 20 million more. He hopes to sell stock to other investors. Aviacsa plans to start off with a fleet of just five planes that will operate 26 flights a day.

Concern as ambassador quits

Hospitality industry leaders thus far have made no comment about the weekend resignation of American Ambassador Carlos Pascual, but many no doubt are disquieted. Cooling diplomatic relations never are good for the travel industry. Pascual’s cables, sharply critical of the current administration, reportedly led President Felipe Calderón to request that the envoy be replaced. President Obama refused, but Pascual no doubt felt that he no longer would be able to function effectively, and resigned, apparently on Friday. Big question is whether Obama will name a replacement of simply leave the post vacant as a sign of his displeasure.

Ecology matters

Environment plays an important part in whether American baby boomers will opt to buy a retirement home in Mexico, according to a study issued by the International Community Foundation, as reported in the newspaper Reforma. Environmental matters are being much discussed these days in light of stricter regulations protecting mangroves along the coasts. Mangroves are considered a defense against flooding and hurricane damage, but developers argue that the new regulations may cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars in investment. The Community Foundation, for its part, says that concern about over-building, inadequate trash collection and pollution prevention may discourage potential buyers from acquiring real estate in Mexico.