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Anne Kalosh
Carnival Corp. & plc svp Giora Israel, right, talks with Tourism Undersecretary Carlos Joaquín González at FCCA conference in St. Maarten

Cruise ships vital to Cabo recovery and to Mexico: Tourism Undersecretary

Cruise ships are 'very important' to the recovery of Cabo San Lucas following Hurricane Odile, Mexico Undersecretary of Tourism Carlos Joaquín González said Tuesday. He noted Cabo draws about half a million cruisers annually.

Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Lines have returned in recent days, González said, adding that the destination is ready to receive visitors.

'We are fine in Cabo. We have all the public services working—lights, water. Our hotel rooms are 40% working. The airport is open,' González told Seatrade Insider during the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association conference and trade show in St. Maarten.

Mexican officials led by Tourism Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas had been scheduled to present an FCCA workshop Tuesday on how the country has overcome obstacles, as an example for other destinations. Ironically, that session had to be replaced because the secretary is busy leading the Cabo recovery plan and on Tuesday Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto went to inspect the area.

HAL's Zuiderdam was the first cruise ship back, last Friday, followed by Star Princess on Saturday and Carnival Miracle on Monday.

The ships have delivered several tons of relief supplies including bottled water, non-perishable food and toiletries.

Apart from their role in hurricane recovery, cruise ships are important to Mexico's tourism business, González stressed. He said the country is working to provide new attractions, to be more competitive and to train people to provide quality service.

The FCCA's annual conference and trade show is scheduled to be hosted in Cozumel next year.

'We want to show the new face of Mexico,' González said. He noted security has improved, and said every cruise destination offers a different experience for visitors. Even Cabo, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán—in close proximity—are different.

'We are changing,' González added, regarding Mexico's relationship with the cruise industry, the ports and the federal government.

'We are working together.'

 

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