Zih Blues, Reds, Greens and Yellows

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, January 13, 2020, 12:32 (375 days ago) @ mosesk

I recall us having a chat about Americans and Canadians dropping a million dollars a day into Ixtapa - Zihu and you chastised me saying it's was Mexican tourism that carried the area.

Change of heart ?

I think you aren't reading what I wrote very carefully. My comment was about tour bus tourists inflating high season statistics. I stand by my earlier comment. They do not contradict each other.

I guess we've led sheltered lives here in Zihua for the past 20 years, but I was shocked to read recently that many bus tourists sleep overnight in the buses....and apparently have for years. We recently noticed large crowds standing around in the huge bus parking lot near Plaza Kyoto, having their breakfasts cooked on portable stoves. Quite believable that these visitors don't spend a lot of money in town.

Locally there's a lot of discussion and disagreement about regulating this type of tourism including banning most tour busses from La Ropa, like they are supposed to be banned from downtown, because they simply do not fit on our small streets. Years ago when our local tourism authorities went to several inland cities ostensibly to promote Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa this is the type of tourism they apparently drummed up. Inflates numbers and looks good on paper as long as you exclude or fudge other numbers such as la derrama económica. One of the problems is they are displacing other groups of tourists. Another is they foment the growth of the informal economy such as the illegal restaurants that set up at La Ropa selling seafood even though they have no running water, no drainage or bathroom, and they tend to toss their garbage where it doesn't belong. There's an argument that this type of tourism should not be promoted, though of course not banned either. Wandering vendors love them as do many restaurants at Las Gatas, Isla Ixtapa and Playa Linda because they consume something, even if it's just families with coolers and their own food just consuming a few snacks, refrescos and beer.

Rob- loaded question but I just can't help asking:
What's your impression of the expat or foreign tourist over the last 10,20,30 years?
In terms of numbers as well as their "consuming" tendencies?

All tourists and temporary residents create demands for services, whether we already have them or not. Most bring their cultural baggage with them, but if they want to be a part of the Mexican community they'll come to shed some if not most of it. Most are respectful, but some are not. Tourists are pretty much the same everywhere. They're here briefly to relax and unwind, it's HOW they do those things that matter. The fact that we now have a "putamovil" that drives through downtown Zihuatanejo advertising a strip club and its hookers while families with their children are walking about pretty much says it all. And of course there are those folks we know here and elsewhere as the "condo commandos" whose purchasing tendencies give developers all the excuse they need to commit ecocide after ecocide, among other problems their line of work creates. Creating jobs for the sake of creating jobs is their vacuous justification. Hell, pimps and narcos create jobs all the time. It doesn't mean they're a positive contribution to the community, and the bienestar of the community should always come first.

More by accident than design I've lived in tourist destinations most of my life. It's a rough relationship at times but I try to be tolerant of the shortcomings of some visitors. But what I cannot tolerate are the folks who are supposed to plan and protect our future selling the golden goose for personal gain.

Many of the folks who read this Message Board and who visit Zihuatanejo fill Lupita's heart and mine with their kindness, their goodwill, their compassion and their love. Even if they sometimes do wrong while trying to do good, as has happened in some instances while trying to help local children get an education. It has been a most fulfilling experience for me to watch this website develop a following and even its own community. Yes, I had to run a few people away after trying to be tolerant perhaps for too long, but now I see a community of respectful people who also impart that same respectfulness to other newcomers. One of the most important things to me is not only helping to bring customers to some of the local businesses and thus make a positive contribution to the community, but helping the folks who visit here to get more out of their visit. When I see you sharing local courtesies with others, greeting strangers and being respectful as you walk about, helping keep the beaches clean, bringing donations for the less fortunate, and especially telling the folks back home about the beauty of our region and its people, then I feel like I've accomplished much more than to make a living here. Some of you come by such behavior naturally, but others have had little things pointed out to you here by me and others that helped modify your behavior for the better. Folks were getting "woke" here about Zihuatanejo long before that expression ever existed. And for me that is the cherry on top of the proverbial cake for which I will be forever grateful.

Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread