News From Jimm Budd

Official enchantment

Tourism Minister Gloria Guevara says that there are now 52 pueblos mágicos, picturesque towns that officially have been designated as magical. Such towns receive federal subsidies in return for improving their appearance. A few that failed to do their part have, in a manner of speaking, been turned back into pumpkins with subsidies withdrawn.

Small Airlines get bigger

New, low-fare Volaris has announced the acquisition of a fourth Airbus A320, giving the carrier a fleet of 28 jets. Of these, 24 are A319s. Meanwhile, new, low-fare VivaAerobus announced that it plans to invest 60 million dollars to add 20 jets to its fleet by the end of 2013, giving it a total of 35 planes. As for Mexicana, its future continues to remain in question.

Green hotels

Mexico now has 44 hotels that qualify as “green,” according to international standards. While the United States has about one thousand more, Mexico is easily the leader in Latin America and the Caribbean. Rodrigo Cobo, general director of Travelocity in Mexico, is among those promoting greater ecological sensitivity in the hospitality industry.

Foreign residents

According to the 2010 census figures, about 21,000 American citizens who are over 60 years old live in Mexico. In total, Mexico has 961,000 foreign-born residents, nearly double the number in 2000. Most are from the United States, 57 percent under 15 years old. It is assumed these are the children of returning migrant workers.

Cancun seeks the sick

Four more private hospitals – in addition to the ten now operating – will be built in Cancun and the neighboring Riviera Maya during the next two years. Servando Acuña, president of Medical Travel Cancun, told a press conference that nearly 50 million dollars will be invested in the new facilities. Goal is to increase medical tourism in the area from 2,200 patients annually to about 10,000. Lower costs compared to the United States are the main appeal.