One by one, Mexico's top tourism destinations are receiving their safety stamps, as administered by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
The Safe Travels stamp is bestowed by the WTTC to destinations and hotels that have adopted new protocols to protect the health of travelers. Here is a look at the destinations that have already received their safety seals.
Los Cabos officially reopened to tourism on June 15, following the state of Baja California Sur's new color-coded reopening classification and the receipt of the global stamp of approval. The five-phase plan started with strict implementation of safety and health protocols. The color categorization is based on density and capacity levels as well as the tourism establishments' abilities to follow social distancing procedures.
Los Cabos is currently in stage 5, which allows nonessential activity to reopen. Businesses must maintain occupancy at a rate of one person per 13 feet, and recreational and social activities must operate at 30% capacity.
Still to come: Eastern Airlines will launch twice-weekly service from JFK to Los Cabos Airport. Currently airlines flying between the U.S. and Los Cabos include American Airlines, Alaska, Delta Air Lines, Southwest and United. Spirit will return in July.
Destinations in the Mexican Caribbean reopened for travelers the second week of June. These include Cancun, Grand Costa Maya, Costa Mujeres, Maya Ka'an, Puerto Morelos, Riviera Maya, and the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres.
Currently there are no travel restrictions against visiting the Mexican Caribbean, and no quarantines imposed for visitors returning from the Mexican Caribbean. As of June 13, hotel guests in Quintana Roo could use the beach areas by their hotels, but public beaches remained closed.
The state of Jalisco has also received the WTTC Safe Travels stamp, a day before the state opened to tourism June 15. Beaches located immediately in front of hotels are now open for guest use, and hotels are permitted to operate at 25% capacity. Restaurants and cafes that have applied sanitation and safety measures can operate at 50% capacity.
Currently hotel gyms and spas in Jalisco remain closed. Tours and recreational activities are also suspended, and bars, nightclubs and shopping malls remain closed.
Riviera Nayarit, the stretch of coast that runs north of Puerto Vallarta, has also received its certification. The 192 miles of coastline has more than 17,000 hotel rooms across 23 towns, with eight golf courses, and four marinas.
State of Yucatan
As part of receiving their WTTC stamp, state tourism minister Michelle Fridman noted that each company in the state will generate a crisis management team, which will adopt strategies to prevent the spread of infections.
Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, the three states of the Yucatan Peninsula, including Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche, had been working on a campaign to promote these states as a single destination. The current crisis has led Quintana Roo and Yucatan to strengthen their alliance, especially as both destinations have received the safety stamp.
Together, the tourism ministers from both states have agreed to standardize the criteria, committing to combine actions so that there is uniformity across state borders. This will help tourists trust that if they are visiting Quintana Roo, they can easily combine their trip with a visit to Yucatan without fear of a discrepancy in safety requirements.
More than 300 application criteria for all tourism companies have been reviewed. The destinations will sign a collaboration agreement based on four points:
• Development and integration of tourism products based on the natural and cultural wealth of each entity.
• Generate joint efforts for promotion.
• Promote the development and the technological exchange that will lead to updating the good tourist sanitary practices certificates by the Health Ministry.
• Promote training, certification and professionalization programs for the different tourism actors in both states.
Mazatlan reopened its doors to tourism today following 90 days of training, facility adjustments and implementation of safety measures. The destination has secured its Safe Travels stamp from the WTTC. All local services will reopen, adhering to the new guidelines. This includes the airport, transportation, hotels, restaurants and tours.