NEW YORK — Telephone, Internet and potable water have been fully restored in Cabo San Lucas, and electricity, currently reaching about 35% of the resort town, is on schedule to be 95% restored toward the end of next week, Mexico Tourism Board CEO Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete said in an interview with Travel Weekly.
Lopez-Negrete cited several activities that indicate the federal government has made the resort town's recovery a high priority. President Enrique Pena-Nieto is arriving today for his third visit since Hurricane Odile slammed the states of Baja California and Baja California Sur on Sept. 14, and tourism secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu has moved her base of operations to Cabo San Lucas after being appointed by Pena-Nieto to coordinate all federal responses.
About 3,000 workers from CFE, the national power utility company, have been sent to the area to work on restoring lines.
Cell phone service is fully operational in Cabo San Lucas and Cabo San Jose, but is "sketchy" between those larger towns, Lopez-Negrete said.
The cruise ship terminal and the marina area are both undamaged, Lopez-Negrete said.
The Star Princess is scheduled to call in Loreto on Oct. 5 and La Paz on Oct 6. Princess Cruises said the itinerary is under review. Also, Carnival Cruise Lines is reviewing the schedule of the Carnival Miracle.
Bisbee, the annual high-purse sports fishing tournament, will be held as scheduled in the third week of October.
The area's other high-profile upcoming event, the Baja International Film Festival at Los Cabos, will also take place as planned, Nov. 11-15.
In another indicator of the return of normalcy, the local Walmart and Home Depot have reopened, said Ruben Reachi, secretary of tourism for the state of Baja California Sur.
Lopez-Negrete and Reachi were in town to meet with hoteliers, airline executives, officers of travel agency groups and associations, tour operators and online travel agencies on Thursday evening to discuss a plan of action to aid the destination's recovery.
An advertising campaign around the theme "Los Cabos — Unstoppable" is in the planning stages, with story boards for television ads being presented Thursday to the tourism board by its advertising agency, Leo Burnett.
Lopez-Negrete said the campaign would launch with a digital/social media campaign on Oct. 15, and other media beginning in early November.
A website will be launched around the campaign that will be a clearinghouse of information and will have links to hotel websites. Lopez-Negrete said he is advising hoteliers to make sure the pages that the website links to be kept up-to-date with recovery developments.
He is somewhat concerned that hotel rates may be affected, but believes they don't have to be, saying hotels, and the destination, will recover more quickly if value-added services are offered rather than rates lowered. "This is not a rate problem," he said.