Re: well said... and yet

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Escrito por Laura desde ( el día miércoles, 23 de agosto, 2006 a las 22:30:35 horas :

En respuesta a: Re: well said... and yet escrito por stew desde ( el día miércoles, 23 de agosto, 2006 a las 18:59:21 horas :

Hi Stew,

We have been getting more and more bus tours here in La Barra in the last couple of years. (I think because they are keeping them off of other beaches perhaps for the same reasons I'll describe below.)

The problem is that these buses are humongous, spew out thick black smoke and make so much noise that it makes it seem we are on the Periferico de DF on rush hour. Some holidays, there is a continuous line of them going in and out all the way from Los Achotes.

The restaurant owners have been cutting down palm trees by the dozens to accommodate the huge area they need to park and turn around. I have personally seen more than 20 palms cut down to make parking lots mostly for the tour buses in the last 2 years. (The cars could just get in and around the palms and would park everywhere with a more minimal impact without having to cut down the trees).

Sometimes the driver stays in the bus and keeps the motor running for hours to keep the air conditioning going... the noise and fumes are unbearable all around that area, you can imagine. Neighbors who happen to be alongside the parking area are unhappy for the tour buses' noise and fumes considerably degrading the atmosphere.

Even though the restaurants have cut palms to accommodate the huge buses thinking it would increase revenue, they are discovering a problem. The crowds that come in the tour buses tend to be (not always- here's my disclaimer- but a significant percentage) groups that bring their own food and drink, occupying the tables and facilities of the restaurants without consuming, while leaving a large amount of trash and heavy use of the septic. There have been previous threads on that topic.

One restaurant owner during last Semana Santa sadly told me that a tour bus group had occupied three long tables all day - we're talking a lot of trash left, bathrooms used (septic systems already overtaxed) and the run around of the overtaxed waites with tiny orders one thing at a time - taking up of tables where customers who would have consumed a lot would otherwise have been sitting. Their bill came to $47 pesos (no tip). This is not uncommon. This kind of trend represents a meaningful loss of revenue for the restaurants already struggling.

I can go on... the impact on our roads is the most significant by the huge buses (consider their weight) Do they contribute to the upkeep of the roads? Nope.

I'm not against the concept of all tour buses or all tour bus groups. But they need to be regulated with consideration of the overall impact. I would like to see a parking lot built at the very entrance of our area - outside the village - so that they do not impact the village and the palm area as they presently are. I also believe they should be contributing to the upkeep of the roads somehow - a use tax perhaps. Right now, as it is here in La Barra, inmho, they are having a very negative impact.

That having been said, I have also experienced wonderful groups of people coming from a tour bus. I don't mean to be casting a negative pronouncement on all tour bus groups. It can be a workable way to vacaton - dare I say- sustainably, with some regulation and consideration. All problems have a solution. But yes, I would say they are a problem.

Hasta pronto,

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