Hotels in Mexican Caribbean Call for Sargassum Assistance From Government

Hotels in Mexican Caribbean Call for Sargassum Assistance From Government

The hotel industry along the Caribbean coast of Mexico is calling on the federal government to step up its sargassum collection efforts to avoid causing tourists to leave the region due to poor conditions.

According to TravelPulse Mexico, the Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Isla Mujeres Hotel Association’s president Jesus Almaguer said he believes the government can do more to contain the arrival of the stinky seaweed.


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Almaguer said officials initially promised the region 11 sargassum collection ships, but only three were currently working off the coasts of popular travel destinations. Hotel owners have been forced to collect the seaweed themselves, with many left wondering when the other vessels will arrive.

While the government continues to send a forecast of how much sargassum is expected to arrive per day, they have provided no updated outline on what actions are being implemented to stop the sargassum from reaching the shores and possibly impacting tourism.

In Playa del Carmen, Almaguer said that piles of the seaweed have started to produce an odor that has forced tourists to leave for other hotspots, like the island of Holbox. The destination has less seaweed arriving each day and hotel occupancy is expected to be close to 100 percent this summer as a result.

“People leave Playa del Carmen because the beaches are bad and so they look for other destinations like Holbox,” Holbox hotel entrepreneur Francesco Rossi said. “For July and August this is going to get good, there are already a lot of reservations.”

Solidaridad’s Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone (Zofemat) has collected more than 16,000 tons of sargassum this season, while the Secretary of the Navy revealed over 28,000 tons had been collected throughout the Mexican Caribbean, as of June 7.

Hotel advocates in the region say the decomposing algae produces a terrible smell that permeates from the beach into the cities, where tourists can be driven away to other destinations.

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