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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of November 17, 2014

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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Note: All translated articles are the property of Cozumel Insider and cannot be used, displayed or reproduced without express written permission from Cozumel Insider.

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Cozumel Arrivals: 29 Ships this Week (Woo Hoo!)
11/16 - Numbers continue to improve this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals rise to 29 ships registered to dock for the third full week of November 2014. This is 3 more than the number of ships last week and 9 more than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season" beginning meaning HIGH SEASON is in full swing now on the island! With Thanksgiving just around the corner an estimated 87,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ships leaving an estimated US$ 7 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." However it seems this year, Cozumel is enjoying a much welcome early beginning to high season!

Once again this week Puerta Maya pier will be the big economic winner as 13 ships dock at Puerta Maya, 8 will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 8 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have -0- ship arrivals.

This week begins with 4 ships docking on Monday, 5 on Tuesday, 4 ships Wednesday, 6 on Thursday, 6 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 4 ships in port and Sunday will see -0- ships.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week
Cozumel's Blue Crab in Danger of Extinction
The blue crab is a species threatened by human beings and the population is dwindling. In Cozumel, efforts are made to avoid that, however the community and visitors are unaware of the importance of the blue crab. Drivers must be more careful especially on the north road leading into the hotel areas.

The Department of Ecology in Cozumel has not put into place any type of awareness campaign despite the fact that it is now blue crab season. The crabs will begin to leave the lagoons and mangroves to go to the beaches to lay their eggs, so it is common to find them crossing the road. Despite the inactivity of the authorities, it is necessary that people take greater awareness of this species since it is in danger of extinction. So at this time of reproduction it is imperative that drivers of cars and motorcycles be alert.

Blue crabs are a species which lives between one and two years. Their life cycle is very short so it is important that a large number of crabs reach the beach to deposit their eggs.

Hopefully, more signs of awareness to ensure the survival of the blue crab will soon be placed in the North where reproduced is predominant in Cozumel. It is also important that people avoid trying to capturing them and to allow them to transit freely towards the beaches for spawning.
Cozumel: The Prize in a National Enterprize Competition
The National Chamber of Commerce (Canaco) from Cozumel and the company Alpura strengthened an alliance with hotel chains, commercial establishments and an airline to boost tourism in the Caribbean destination.

The marketing strategy called “King of the Isla de Cozumel" will seek to generate a positive impact on growth and economic dynamism of the locality and position it as a world class tourist site states the Notimex Agency. According to comments made by representatives of the shipping compny Transcaribe, this initiative which includes the efforts of more than 15 companies, will allow participants to win one of four all-expense paid trips to the island.

Companies involved in the tourist promotion of Cozumel include Intercontinental Hotels Group Mexico, Interjet and Meliá Hotels, as well as the support of Canaco and Transcaribe. Meanwhile, Alpura will be responsible for managing the dynamics of the contest which will run until November 30 of this year, and every week there will be a different winner.
40 Percent of Cozumel's Mangroves Require Recovery Efforts
Quintana Roo has the highest rate of mangrove loss. That is more than three percent of their surface annually, said Arturo Zaldívar Jiménez, representative of the project: “Great Marine Ecosystem, Gulf of Mexico”, sponsored by the United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO).

Representatives of Veracruz, Campeche, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Yucatan and Quintana Roo gathered in Cozumel to talk about the loss of the mangrove and how to stop the problem. Restorative community groups shared experiences in the sustainable use, conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystems.

With the support of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) of Cozumel, the National Commission Forestal (Conafor) and the project “Great Marine Ecosystem, Gulf of Mexico,” three days of meetings took place from Nov 10th through 13th.

It estimated that up to 40% of the mangrove in Cozumel areas need some degree of conservation and recovery. This is mainly due to the action of hurricanes.
Cozumel's Consumer Protection Agency Cracks Down
The Consumer Protection Agency of Cozumel, Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor (Profeco), warns that companies which have been repeat offenders in irregularities after operations of verification in the last two months could be closed down permanently.

The delegate of Profeco, Sara Latife Ruiz Chávez, made it clear that the fines already imposed will not be subject to discount or waiver. Representatives of car rental agencies on the island of Cozumel approached the official who visited the island last Monday, to ask for reduced penalties but this was denied.

False jewelry has been a prominent theme in Cozumel where 34 establishments throughout the state have been checked and 26 were in Cozumel. These operations resulted the immobilization of 16,900 pieces of jewelry. Most of which are being sold as Silver but are not. Seals on establishment doors were placed which indicated that they should suspend activities. It has been stated that these companies have not yet paid the initial fines assessed them of some $ 22,000 thousand pesos.

Ruiz Chavez spoke of 100% of pawn shops that were visited were also suspended for not having their contracts in order with Profeco. “They have no calibrated scales and lack of information in contracts with customers” stated the Official. Most are already operating in Cozumel and regularized but had to pay fines of between 70,000 - 150,000 pesos.
Cozumel Will Promote New Image for Tourism
Through joint efforts, the Association of Hotels Cozumel (AHC), together with the different divisions that form the Business Coordinating Board (JCE) presented a fresh and renovated approach to promotion that will be offered to the island of Cozumel to different agencies for 2015. This is in hopes to achieve higher occupation overall and to improve the economic growth by as much as 10 per cent.

This was announced by the AHC President; Beatriz Tinajero Tarriba .The interviewee mentioned that this new promotional idea will feature 14 images and about 70 photographs which will be distributed to various targeted media expecting to reach new markets. The idea is to improve numers in the "Millennial" generation of tourism for Cozumel because she is concerned that Cozumel is currently focused on the “Baby Boomer” generation and she feels the island needs to move forward, grow and renew."

Recently, Tinajero Tineda presented a video clip that tells the story of different people who travel to Cozumel showing how they enjoy ecotourism activities, sports, cultural and scuba diving. These being the four fundamental areas which will be featured in the new promotions.
Cozumel Creates Greater Respect for Birds
The sixth Cozumel Bird Festival began last week with the presentation of Barbara Mackinnon, prize winner of the Ecological Merit 2006 and founder of friends of Sian Ka'an. She emphasized that 268 species of birds migrate from different parts of the Mainland to Cozumel, and they are fundamental in the role of environmental balance.

She said that of the total number of species that are known in the Yucatan Peninsula, more than 51% can be found in the island of swallows. In addition, she considered bird tourism as one of the markets with worldwide expansion in recent years.

The aim of the festival is to raise awareness among local people about the importance of birds which unfortunately tend to be ignored. Héctor Gonzalez Cortes, Director of Conservation and Environmental Education for the Foundation of Parks and Museums of Cozumel endorsed on behalf of Eduardo Novelo Lopez and Alberto Martín Azueta, President and Director of that agency, respectively, commitment to continue protecting the habitat of the feathered creatures in Punta Sur, Chankanaab and the archaeological site of San Gervasio.

An exhibition of 50 photographs from members of the "Club of Birdwatchers from Cozumel" was presented in the museum so that the local population could admire them.
Cozumel Prepares for the "Grand Fondo New York" Bicycle Race
The Directorate of Public Security and Transit implemented a plan for road access for the sporting event "Gran Fondo New York 2014" (GFNY Cozumel), which will take place Sunday, November 23.

Commander Sergio Terraces Montes, head of the department, said that such actions will allow that the community can enjoy the cycling event, without affecting their everyday activities and facilitating the route of the cycling race.There will be 150 officers of the department who will maintain surveillance of Cozumel, as well as addressing the areas where the competition will be carried out

The circuit will consist of two laps around the island by bicycle then to the North zone and finishing in the downtown area. This is the first time this event will take place in Cozumel.
Playa Del Carmen: Over 30,000 Expected at The Riviera Maya Jazz Festival
Playa Del Carmen will be hosting what is expected to be the best edition in the history of the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival on November 27,28 and 29th with more than 30 thousand people expected to attend and the participation of top jazz artists.

"This event of international significance puts the Riviera Maya as the ultimate destination for thousands of visitors that will generate large income. In the same way it will give impetus to local artists and to showcase their musical talent", said Mauricio Góngora Escalante, Mayor of Playa Del Carmen.

The event will provide three nights of free jazz music where an average of 30,000 people are expected on the main beach area of Playa Mamitas. And for the first time in the history of the festival, throughout the week, there will be jazz groups performing at various points along Fifth Avenue. At the same time, activities will take place in the cultural center of Playa del Carmen and plaza Forum as alternate scenarios to provide opportunity for the local artists.

The festival is regarded as one of the ten best jazz festivals in the world and this recognition has placed the Riviera Maya as a top destination for tourists through an international level, which represents an important income for the destination.
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October 10, 2014 (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 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 August 13, 2014 from the Department of State can also be viewed in its entirety on the Department of State website.

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