After Hurricane Wilma battered Cancun, Mexico,
officials continue to evacuate tourists with the hopes that
travelers will be back for the winter travel season.
Already 35,000 tourists have been evacuated many
from the U.S., but still thousands more formed long lines outside
airports and tour offices, according to reports. While some
airports aren't fully operational, airlines and tour operators are
rushing to get travelers on flights out, including GOGO
Since scheduled carriers were not able to fly into
Cancun, GOGO arranged four company-funded private charters to
evacuate more than 500 passengers staying in hurricane shelters and
Officials said all displaced tourists will be
returned home by Saturday, Oct. 29.
As the peak winter travel season nears, many with
reservations to the region are changing their travel plans. Some
say Cancun could lose as much as $800 million in tourism revenue
between now and December, according to reports.
While officials are still taking stock of the
damages, with spotty communications and power, it’s difficult to
get a good read on how much devastation took place. Mexican
President Vicente Fox announced the government will dedicate $20
million to beach recovery and $10 million to hotel repairs,
according to reports.
Most of Cancun's 140 hotels and resorts are
recovering from varying degrees of wind and water damage, officials
said. The three Marriott resorts in Cancun will be closed through
December, and the Ritz-Carlton Cancun isn’t taking reservations
until next year, according to reports.
Meanwhile, some towns, including Playa del Carmen
in the Riviera Maya, are releasing updates to inform travelers they
are still in business. Officials in Playa del Carmen say the town
sustained minimal damage and the hotels and restaurants plan to
welcome tourists for this weekend's Day of the Dead
Last year, Cancun hosted 3 million visitors,
officials say, and tourism brings Mexico $11 billion each year
almost 10 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.