Re: Sotavento residences (follow up)

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Escrito por ZihuaRob desde ( el día lunes, 23 de marzo, 2009 a las 15:34:08 horas :

En respuesta a: Re: Sotavento residences (follow up) escrito por Brit Boy desde ( el día lunes, 23 de marzo, 2009 a las 14:02:33 horas :

As I explained, my own observations of living in tourist resort areas most of my life have been that condos do not maintain better occupancy rates than hotels and their residents generally spend less than hotel guests. Condo complexes generally employ less people than hotels. They are more and more frequently used as vacation-rentals-by-owners, and like time-share resorts, bookeeping for tax purposes is generally "fuzzier" resulting in less tax revenues generated.

Small family-run inns are the best forms of lodging for communities like Zihuatanejo's. They directly employ and benefit more locals. The local economy prospers because more of their income is spent locally.

Outsider-owned corporations tend to take the money and run without making any long-term commitment or contribution to the community, leaving any problems behind when they sell out. Even the big Ixtapa hotels bring in better-paid employees from other places, and their corporate profits certainly aren't spent locally. Even the food products they buy often come from far away because they must buy in larger quantities than can otherwise be produced locally. Yes, of course we need better local schools and more investment in developing local agricultural capabilities, no doubt about it. But very few corporations invest in the educational or agricultural sectors of their local community, here being no exception. Though some Ixtapa hotels do support the local community in other ways, but over the long term the support has often been inconsistent if not also simply superficial (photo ops for publicity).

Hotels like the Catalina and formerly the Sotavento were not only important in our local economy over 30 years ago, but they were also part of the local culture, and the Catalina is the last hotel on La Ropa that still best reflects local culture and is the most community-friendly of all our larger hotels. The Catalina has a long history of community involvement, and many of the people who work there are not only from the immediate region but they are well known and liked throughout the local community.

So I see the selling out of the Sotavento as a loss to the community. One more irreplaceable petal lost from the flower that is Zihuatanejo.

More tourists isn't necessarily better, and for a lot of reasons. More locally owned and operated hotels and inns is. Zihuatanejo is already suffering the effects of rapid overdevelopment, chiefly by people from other places looking to suckle from the Zihuatanejo cash cow who have no memory of a pristine paradise and little if any respect for or loyalty to local culture and the community. When they wear the place out and cause the inevitable environmental deterioration that comes with such too rapid growth for growth's sake, what is left is a wasteland of problems and misery. It is an extreme of capitalism that has always made me uncomfortable.

And of course here in Zihuatanejo we have political parties such as the PRD and PT trying to coerce people from as far away as Acapulco to become squatters in our community in exchange for votes, stealing lands and adding to the population and thus the burden on local services. So the overpopulation factor can screw up the best of economies, making it impossible for local prosperity to benefit the community as it otherwise should. The influx of construction workers brought here from other regions and cities by contractors and abandoned after project completions caused the original population explosion here that began in the 70's, offsetting a general local prosperity that was just really beginning to be felt throughout the community. In other words, Ixtapa condemned Zihuatanejo to a very different future than it would have seen without a "government-planned resort" being introduced into the local economic region.

So that's what I think about THAT!

Didja get it all down? Quiz in an hour! ;~)


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