Occupancy rates

by tj, Thursday, March 03, 2011, 08:41 (2478 days ago)

We were there the second and third week this past month and I noticed the foot traffic down in both Zihua and Ixtapa. Occupancy was way down at the Pacifica with rumors of it being at about 50%. This was very noticeable in the number of palapas and pool side chairs available every morning. The same could be said for the Dorado where friends of ours were staying. One morning while cutting through the property on the way to the beach, I noticed you could pretty much have your pick of a pool side lounge chair and it was about 10:00. We had breakfast one morning with a friend who is employed by the Fontan and he told us they were only 20% filled, mostly Mexican families and some French Canadians.

In talking with a number of others there, the general consensus is that while there was some concern for safety, the economy and the lack of air service (charters in particular) where the biggest deterrent in the noticeable lack of tourist. We haven't had a travel advertisement for Zihua/Ixtapa in our local paper's travel section in over a year.

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Occupancy rates

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Thursday, March 03, 2011, 08:52 (2478 days ago) @ tj

We haven't had a travel advertisement for Zihua/Ixtapa in our local paper's travel section in over a year.

THAT is the fault of our Director de Turismo who pretended it was more important to attend a tourism fair in Spain last month than to spend that money on publicity in the USA and Canada at a crucial time. Of course we not only have our regular natural markets in the USA and Canada, but there are also untapped markets, especially in the East where historically Zihuatanejo's tourism "experts" have paid no attention, not aware that THAT is where the greatest concentration of people and money is.

Thank you for sharing your impressions and observations, Ted. I've enjoyed reading them.

Occupancy rates

by Kim in Wa, Thursday, March 03, 2011, 10:18 (2477 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

The 'Dorado' in Ixtapa is advertising on Wheel of Fortune this week.
Not sure when the shows were taped, but it's what you win when solving the prize puzzle round.

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Occupancy rates

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Thursday, March 03, 2011, 10:28 (2477 days ago) @ Kim in Wa

Maybe it's just me, but I find it rather sad that our beautiful vacation resort destination of Ixtapa has been reduced to a "prize" on a daytime US game show. Only attracts more fodder for the "party bus" and "swim with the dolphins" businesses. :-(

Occupancy rates

by Kim in Wa, Thursday, March 03, 2011, 10:42 (2477 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Didn't say I liked it!

However, that decision is made by their advertising department/agency and approved by the owners of the Dorado.

Desperate times, desperate measures I suppose.

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Occupancy rates

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Thursday, March 03, 2011, 11:11 (2477 days ago) @ Kim in Wa

Desperate times, desperate measures I suppose.

Actually, I believe this has been going on since the 80's.

Occupancy rates

by Paulf @, Mount Sterling, Ky 40353, Thursday, March 03, 2011, 16:03 (2477 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

We are finishing our 2 weeks at Pacifica Grand Sat and flying home Mon. We went over to Pacifica Ixtapa for a beach day was surprised how few people were there Tuesday. We had dinner at the Italian restaurant and there was only 1 table empty when we finished. We had a few minutes before our transportation back to the Grand and walked thru the buffet restaurant(there were 3 couples eating) and went to the Moon Bar and there was only 1 couple from Cal. El Faro's had 50 people booked for dinner- looked like a wedding was being held at sun set on the beach and the dinner at El Faro's after the wedding. Talked to friends in sales and sales were up with less people. The news in the states just causes the people that don't know the area to feel it is unsafe everywhere in Mexico. As someone we were talking said that this is a Hidden Gem- just hope it stays that way. Staying in Centro before our week at the Grand, it appeared when walking the back streets that there are more spending the winter here- the tourist traffic for the resorts and hotels is really down. Here at the Grand there are 8 units- last week 5 were taken and this week appears there may be only 1 open to be used as a model. Saturday morning we go back to Centro to enjoy our last 2 days here till Oct for 18days again- we have gotten use to the 2 days before and 2 days after and it helps with cost of air fare even though spend more on food and hotel, alls well if having fun.

Occupancy rates

by Gringo Viejo @, Kansas/Zihuatanejo, Thursday, March 03, 2011, 16:06 (2477 days ago) @ tj

Just got back from Patzcuaro. Tourism very dismal there also. They're blaming the media for portraying all the violence. BTW we had a great trip and saw no signs of nor heard about any violence. BTW my opinon was formed from talking to semi permanent residents there, long time tourists and the local populace.

Occupancy rates

by Jo in Vancouver, Thursday, March 03, 2011, 16:59 (2477 days ago) @ Gringo Viejo

We found the same thing when we were in Patzcuaro for a week in january.. went to Spanish school and the only tourists we saw in town were the 8 or so others who were also at school. We have friends who live in Morelia and they came down to Patzcuaro to visit.. said it was quite calm there but they did have issues in December. We drove all over and felt safe/saw no problems...and feel very badly for the people affected. We've stayed at the same spot for 3 yeras now and they were telling us that their suppliers of things like fruit and flowers are impacted as locals have less work.. the trickle down economy ain't doing much for the average person we met. We bought some pottery off an Indian woman and felt like we were robbing her.. prices were so low.. and we weren't bargaining.. it is really quite a problem. We just keep trying to spread positive words about visiting Mexico but it's a drop in the bucket.

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Occupancy rates

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Thursday, March 03, 2011, 23:03 (2477 days ago) @ Jo in Vancouver

I think the only way to counteract all the negative news about Mexico in our media is to start a writing campaign to our local papers (with pictures, if possible) describing what a wonderful time we all had and how nice everybody was. The one I sent off to our local rag didn't get published, but I think it's worth another try.

Michoacan is a violent state; other impacts

by Bill @, Chicago, Illinois, Thursday, March 03, 2011, 22:35 (2477 days ago) @ Gringo Viejo

There's been a lot of violence in Michoacan, and in Morelia in particular, and I can understand the reluctance of tourists to visit there. Though the Mexican media has covered those terrorist acts thoroughly they've not seen all that much coverage in the foreign media ... from what I've observed. When you get away from the border war zone, Michoacan has probably seen more horrible violence than any other state in Mexico. I enjoy visiting Patzcuaro, but I think most foreign visitors will find it a bit too difficult to get to for whatever "reward" they'll find there for a short visit.

Regarding the general, or maybe more specific topic of this discussion ... the Mexican tourism industry, overall, does a horrible job of self-promotion. The federal government's tourism promotion campaign isn't much better. That's been the same for many years.

Airlines will offer service where there's an indication of sufficient demand. Don't blame them.

Remember, too, that there are more competing destinations for USA/Canadian travelers. Mexico may be close and very convenient to visit - but it needs to fight harder to compete.

The multi-battlefront war underway in Mexico does have a negative effect on tourism, even though the federal government continues to deny it. Word of mouth amongst travelers advising against visiting Mexico is powerful. A poor USA economy is a factor, too, but not the principal one keeping people away.

If it weren't for the strong domestic travel market destinations such as Zihua would really suffer, more.

Occupancy rates

by Di, Friday, March 04, 2011, 07:15 (2477 days ago) @ tj

Was reading on TripAdvisor Playa del Carmen forum that a tourist from the east coast booked a trip to Ixtapa. Arriving at the airport only to find out the flight had been canceled for the day. They went on to say traveling to Ixtapa was a hassle & was warning other travelers before they booked. Of course all destination forums are quite protective of the place they like best & will try to convince others. But it's unfortunate because TripAdvisor has a huge following.

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Playa del Carmen

by Mike from SF @, Saturday, March 05, 2011, 18:07 (2475 days ago) @ Di

I must confess that we just returned from the Playa del Carmen area and feel somewhat like a trator after more that 15 trips since 1997 to Zihuatanejo. Alaskan Airlines (SFO-ZIH) required an overnight stay in LA which was more of an inconvience that we wanted. We got direct UA flights to/from Cancun and it was only a 40 minute transfer to Playa del Carmen. The Yucatan and the Caribbean were beautiful but Playa del Carmen does not have the same warmth and charm as Zihuatanejo.
Perhaps we can make it to Zihuatanejo this Spring. Next year for sure.

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Playa del Carmen

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Saturday, March 05, 2011, 19:12 (2475 days ago) @ Mike from SF

I think Alaska has a pretty good connection out of San Jose to Zihua via LAX.

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Playa del Carmen and Alaska Air

by Harriet ⌂ @, Sunday, March 06, 2011, 06:48 (2475 days ago) @ frostbite

We were despairing of Alaska until we realized the San Jose connection. We are going down next Saturday via SJO.

Mike, I know how you feel. We have gone to the Yucatan three times (always to the Akumal/Tulum area) and always came away less than enchanted. It was beautiful and there was great snorkeling, but it did not touch our heartstrings the way that Zihua has for the last 32 years.

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Yes! Fly out of San Jose

by Mike from SF @, Sunday, March 06, 2011, 13:44 (2474 days ago) @ Harriet

Harriet, Yes. Zihuatanejo is by far nicer than Playa del Carmen albeit the beaches and Maya ruins were fun to explore.

I just checked and Alaska does have a good connection out of San Jose through LAX on Saturdays. (I like using their companion ticket). Also thanks to Frostbite for pointing out the San Jose flights.

I hope that Tess and other bay area people find out about the San Jose flights. I am sure that a few people had to spend the night in LA on the return trip.

ZIH-LAX-SFO?

by lia ⌂ @, Sunday, March 06, 2011, 14:33 (2474 days ago) @ Mike from SF

Mike, could you not have taken Southwest from LAX to SFO? I purchased a one-way in November 2010 on SW to LAX, then bussed over to with plenty of time to spare to catch AA 10:45 flight to ZIH. I wonder how that would work on the way back - considering the dreaded LAX customs - as there is a late SW flight.

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ZIH-LAX-SFO?

by Mike from SF @, Sunday, March 06, 2011, 17:40 (2474 days ago) @ lia

Mike, could you not have taken Southwest from LAX to SFO? I purchased a one-way in November 2010 on SW to LAX, then bussed over to with plenty of time to spare to catch AA 10:45 flight to ZIH. I wonder how that would work on the way back - considering the dreaded LAX customs - as there is a late SW flight.

Yes Lia,that probably would have worked however I like to go Alaska Airlines (AS, AA is American Airlines) because of Alaska's $100 companion ticket, of which, by the way used to be only $50. We all miss the good old days when Alaska had a direct SFO-ZIH and return flight. In my old age I try to reduce the stress of flying as much as possible.

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ZIH-LAX-SFO?

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Sunday, March 06, 2011, 17:46 (2474 days ago) @ Mike from SF

I really miss the direct LAX - ANC flight that Alaska used to have. A 3:00 am arrival is not my most favorite time of day, but we got home without the current 6 hour layover in SEA.

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ANC-ZIH is a long day

by Mike from SF @, Sunday, March 06, 2011, 21:52 (2474 days ago) @ frostbite

SFO-ZIH is nothing compaired to ANC-ZIH (and we live 1 hour from the great wine country of Napa). When I think of our connections out of SF I will just think of how much better it has to be than ANC-ZIH.

Also checking out my new avatar.

Occupancy rates

by Dave, Friday, March 04, 2011, 08:09 (2477 days ago) @ tj

What I don't get is why are they still building more hotels or adding rooms to those already built. After spending some time in Zihua recently, we went to Puerto Escondido and Guayabitos. Tourism is down there as well but new hotels are being built and a few are adding another floor. If you look at the growth of accommodations in Zihua in the past ten years, one wonders if there are not too many hotels for the number of tourists.

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Occupancy rates

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Friday, March 04, 2011, 08:29 (2477 days ago) @ Dave

If you look at the growth of accommodations in Zihua in the past ten years, one wonders if there are not too many hotels for the number of tourists.

Of course we are saturated with too many lodging rooms for the number of tourists we receive and we have been for years, levertheness, hardly a day goes by that someone, usually gringos or Canadians, doesn't ask me to list their new lodging.

Occupancy rates

by Gringo Viejo @, Kansas/Zihuatanejo, Friday, March 04, 2011, 17:02 (2476 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

There are a lot of reasons the building continues. Greed in probablyu at the top of the list--no one wants to be left out of there is a turnaround. There is also the 'lemmings who run into the sea" phenomen.

And it ain't over til the fat lady sings. She willsoon make her appearance in La Barra de Potosi but alss will discover that is not the end of the road either.


As long as the train comes thru at 4 in morning the population will grow and demand will also, after all it's too early to get up and too late to go back to sleep, the result is inevitable.

There must be spell check on this board somewhere but I'm too lazee to look for it!