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In a Little Cafe on the Other Side of the Border, a Virtual Visitor's Blog on Cancun

September 2021
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New Airport “Still” in the Works for Riviera Maya Near Tulum
Filed under: Cancun Casa Blog, Cancun Tourism, Maya World
Posted by: Dangers @ 12:30 am

  Come on now, you’ve heard this one before, if you haven’t, the story goes something like this; due to the immense popularity of Cancun over the last forty years to both national and international tourists, development along the Mexican Caribbean has been so widely successful that new hotels and sleepy fishing villages have blossomed into mega municipal wide resorts up and down the coastline, covering some eighty plus miles and two islands, Isla Mujeres and the long popular Isla Cozumel. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, this increased development has created the never ending need to cater to future visitors as a matter of convenience, and if you believe the folks in government responsible for tourism in Mexico, the need to handle more arrivals and departures up and down the coast of Quintana Roo, Mexico to meet this burgeoning demand. That, and continued investment pressure from members of the Spanish Hotel industry, licking their chops at the opportunity to score the next massive resort hotel, on the backs of cheap labor and light fingered local politicians.

(Courtesy of InvestmentMexico)

 Now, the cynical amongst us might say this new Riviera Maya Airport story has been fluttering in the wind long enough to make a Mexican Minute seem like the 100 yard dash. And, that the continued damage to the environment via the destruction of tropical forests, the contamination of existing, desperately needed water supplies, and bleaching of coral reefs is enough to say, hold on folks, we know that Cancun thing worked out well from the motivational profit end but it played hell on local resources.

 In any case, courtesy of the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Resources or SCT, comes word of the prospective Invitation to Bid (ITB) for the construction and management of the new Riviera Maya Airport, and the ITB, is stated by the SCT, to be prepared and ready for presentation to prospective bidders by November of 2009. The SCT claims that the land acquisition has been finalized and that the land possession has been acquired by the Federal Government for the project. They also add that by the year 2025, they expect the region to be handling upwards of 17.9 million visitors, hence the need for the new facility, estimated to cost upwards of $300 million US dollars.

 The new airport is slated to be approximately 102 kilometers (63 Miles) south of the privately managed ASUR, Cancun International Airport in an area frequently mentioned as Tulum but much closer to the nearby, rural, Village of Coba, named for the Maya ruins of the same name. In fact, a recent visit to the Maya Roads of Home at Coba by this writer exhibited more than a few lots for sale, that upon further discussion with locals in the area, was based on wild speculation of values to come once the airport project is formally announced.

(Church at the Village of Coba)

 Currently, at this time, from this perspective, it’s a bit difficult to understand the need for a second airport in the region in such close proximity to Cancun International Airport and the airport at Isla Cozumel especially when environmental risks are factored in but if the SCT estimates for future growth are well founded, I presume there’s no time like the present to undertake the infrastructure for the future needs of the area. Here’s hoping that need also includes modern highways, sewer and water systems, strong environmental protections and the rest of the infrastructure to support a future city of upwards of a million people if we’re to use Cancun as an example. An example that is positive in many aspects but failing miserably in the unanticipated burden put on local resources.

 Not to long ago, someone in Cancun, brought to mind a high speed rail line connecting the towns from Cancun to Tulum with potential extension lines to popular interior destinations like the ruins at Chichen Itza, I thought it was a great idea.

 But, then again, I’m just another gringo…


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