Aug 05, 2011
I am very sad to report that winter 2011/2012 aka tourist season 2011/2012 is going to be lacking in the people department. The cruise ship industry has decided to hit Mazatlan rather severely. Currently there are a few monthly dockings by the Spanish Pullmantur cruise line ship Ocean Dream. It’s last visit will be in September followed by a final visit Oct. 18 by the Oosterdam, of the Holland America line. That is it for 2011. The schedule for 2012 promises 7 port visits between 2 Holland America ships. Per Maz Messenger online that seems to be it until 2013. How sad for everyone but most especially the economy of Mazatlan. I will point out that at this time, that the ships are also planning on boy cutting Puerto Vallarta. There are many in the tourist industry contemplating the next move. I am mostly concerned with rvers who have been talking on a variety of forums of returning to Mexico this season. Most did not enjoy freezing in Florida, Texas and Arizona. So if they return to Mexico this winter, what are they coming back to. Because tourism in general is down, will that mean more local ( not drug war but local) violence or even just petty theft as people have to feed their families?? We have personally seen this evolve in the Acapulco area. We hope this will not happen but if there are no tourists how does the economy in a tourist town like Mazatlan survive?
Personally we believe that the situation will sort itself out over the next few years. There are many major projects under way in Mexico that will make travel easier for rvers and others. I think that in another year or two Mazatlan will see an influx of tourists by vehicle. The new road from Durango to Mazatlan is 80% complete and is scheduled to open in late 2012. This new highway has more than 60 tunnels and 115 bridges. This will open the area up to many from Central and Eastern US and Canada and of course Mexico. Many who now winter in Puerto Vallarta and further south will be able to easily travel into the Mazatlan area saving many hours on the road. This can only be good for the economy of the region.
As to this year, the Green Angels are running an escort service down from the US border. Also a few RV parks are providing an escort caravan to their various parks. Many rvers will buddy up with someone for peace of mind on the road. There is no way more rvers will make up for the cruise ship industry but we can try.
The Mexican Government is in the process of making plans to build a four lane highway between Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara which would cut the trip to 2 and 1/2 hours. More easy travel trips for us in the future. There is a light down the road, we just have to get through the next few years.