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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of April 25, 2016

Beginning in December 2002, Insider was proudly the first website to provide readers the Cozumel News in English.

Articles are slected from local newspapers which we feel will be of interest to our diverse audience. These articles are then translated into English. We cannot always investigate the veracity of a particular article but offer these translations as a reflection of the Cozumel community news just as reporters write it for Por Esto, Diario de Quintana Roo, Novedades and El Seminario and many other sources.

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Cozumel Arrivals: 16 Ships this Week
4/24- Numbers spiral downward this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals show 16 ships registered to dock for the final week of April 2016. This is 5 less than the number of ships last week and 4 less than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season" number. As the high season comes to an end for 2016, an estimated 48,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 3.8 million dollars behind in the local economy.

High season for cruise ship arrivals typically runs from November 15 - April 15 each year with the remaining 7 months of the year considered "low season."

This week Puerta Maya pier will be host to 8 ships docking there, 5 ships will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 3 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- arrivals with passengers tendering in.

This week begins with 1 ship docking on Monday, 3 on Tuesday, 2 ships Wednesday, 5 on Thursday, 4 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 1 ship in port and Sunday will see -0- ships in port.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
Cozumel Urges Citizens to Participate in the Conservation of Resources
“Due to the nature of the island and the peculiarity of its ecological environment, Cozumel requires the conservation of ecosystem services that are its greatest asset as a tourist destination, and if these are lost, we might as well all pack our suitcases and move”, said Raúl Peniche Medina, representative of the Environmental Leadership for Competitiveness program.

Peniche Medina pointed out that these resources are very limited and that over-exploitation will lead to irreparable damage. Ecosystem services is "the multitude of benefits that nature provides to society" as defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United National (FAO for its acronym in English). Ecosystem services, according to the FAO, can provide food and water to humans, regulate diseases and climate, allows the pollination of crops, soils formation and offers recreational and cultural benefits.

Peniche Medina explained that environmental leadership for competitiveness program has been applied in Cozumel since 2015 and that this involves the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) or the German Agency of Technical Cooperation, and pointed out that on an island like Cozumel the conservation of ecosystem services is important when all its inhabitants are economically dependent on them. The official also emphasized that the resources are very limited, and that these give added value to the destination and the result of overexploitation without any care will deteriorate them.

Before anyone takes further action, there is a study to determine if there has already been damage to the environment. The official pointed out that Cozumel already holds a plan of attack of overexploitation.
Continued Supervision for Horse and Carriages
The Direction of Transportation in Cozumel continues supervision of the carriages that are pulled by horses and provide services to visitors on the main avenue of the city. This is so that operators comply with the regulation and agreements designed to protect the horses as well as to regulate the activity of these animal traction vehicles.

Javier Alamilla Polanco, owner of this concession said that one of the main objectives is that the Coachmen comply with the regulations to provide good service with their units, so instructions have been established for the staff that monitors this activity. He mentioned that changes have been made in the areas where the tourist buggies are to ensure that operators comply with established norms and agreements of protection for horses, otherwise strong penalties will be applied and /or suspension of their activities and even in serious cases the cancellation of their permits.

Alamilla Polanco said that in the coming days there will be a meeting with operators and the carriage owners to discuss different concerns that have arisen with respect to the plan of work and the need to protect the health of the horses to comply with the law of Animal Welfare of Quintana Roo. Finally, the interviewee said that they will continue with works in conjunction with the Department of Ecology as well as with the Municipal Tourism Office to ensure a better image of these Coachmen to visitors who use the services.
Questions Arise on Possible Sale of Caleta
Andrés García, General Manager of the Hotel Presidente Intercontinental Cozumel, denied that part of the Natural Maritime Inlet “Caleta" was sold to Israeli entrepreneurs. He explained that the Hotel Consortium resolved this issue via the legal conflict with the group "Holders of la Caleta".

Romo Felipe Cordero, representative of the self-appointed group of tenants, said they are in a fight to regain this maritime inlet. It was commented by some of the operators of tourist services, which are still on this site, that they feel worried about the possibility of sale since such operations can be made "under the water", as happened with the Parque Juarez. Feiipe Romo, spokesman for the tenants, said that they have put into operation toilets, lighting and other services last February when the Administration Portuaria Integral de Quintana Roo left the area and surrendered it to the hotel Consortium. "We are going to fight to keep this space which is necessary for the nautical operators by legal means and to exhaust all appeals," he said.

Andrés García explained that the presence of Jewish families in the facilities of the hotel in recent days reflects the occupancy of several rooms by these foreigners, who carry out events of religious nature. One of the requirements of their customs is blocking the view of their religious events, which raised some speculation by the tenants, but pointed out that it is offering normal service to customers.

"It is a legal issue that will have to be solved by authority with the owners. We continue to operate the hotel as usual and have no problems with anyone. La Caleta has not been sold to anyone", he emphasized.
Quintana Roo, Mexico's Safest Destination
Governor of the State of Quintana Roo, Roberto Borge Angulo reported that with the travel alert that was updated on April 15th by the Governments of the United States and Canada for some regions of Mexico, it has been confirmed that Quintana Roo and the Yucatan Peninsula are the safest in the country for the millions of tourists who visit Mexico.

The Conference on Trade and Development of the UN stated that Mexico is one of the most reliable destinations in the world to invest because it occupies the ninth site to do business and has one of the most open economies and the state of Quintana Roo is the most visited destination in Mexico by American and Canadian citizens. The important flow of visitors to the State is reflected in increased income of foreign exchange for the country, more hotel occupancy for the destinations and more income for the providers of tourist services and, in general, for the state.

Quintana Roo is a State competitive, responsible, but above all safe, stated the official. The security we provide has allowed us to break the record number of visitors for four consecutive years and we are the world leader in tourism in Mexico. The United States and Canada stated that Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, The Riviera Maya and Tulum are totally safe destinations and in the state of Yucatan, Merida and Chichén Itzá along with the state of Campeche are all marked as safe.
More Than 200 Species of Birds Invade Quintana Roo Every Year
In a study which is conducted by researchers at the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (Conabio) on Migratory Birds, Quintana Roo is considered one of the most important sites to document since every year the state receives more than 200 species of birds coming from countries of North America.

Humberto Berlanga, one of the researchers who participated in the research "migratory birds and their travels" explained that many migrate with the presence of cold in the countries where they are endemic; however, this work sets out to prove that the main factor is the search for food. Most of the birds that come to the Yucatan Peninsula are insectivorous and for this reason are concentrated during this time of the year, since in this area it is possible to find these organisms during all seasons.

According to the records of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp), up to 200 species of migratory birds arrive to Quintana Roo each year, of which 13 are under some category of special protection. Some of the favorite points of these species are Isla Contoy National Park, reserve of the biosphere of Sian Ka'an, Flora and Fauna Yum Balam, among others.

Most of the birds come from United States and Canada, and to learn about their route, specialists marked them with identifying leg bands.
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April 15, 2016 (Most Recent) Comprehensive Mexico Travel Warning
Because we are continually asked about travel safety in Mexico and Cozumel, INSIDER always maintains the most recent, complete version of the LINK /traveladvisory U.S. State Department Mexico Travel Warning HERE} on our website for traveler convenience.

The good news continues to be that there are currently no regional security warnings in place that cover Quintana Roo, Cancun, Cozumel or Costa Maya so make vacation plans now to get here for some fun in the sun!

The Mexico Travel Warning dated April 15, 2016 from the Department of State can also be viewed in its entirety on the Department of State website
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