June 1, 2020 / 3:21 PM / a month ago

Key Mexican tourism hub aims for 30% reopening in coming months

MEXICO CITY, June 1 (Reuters) - One of Mexico’s main bellwethers of tourist activity aims to reopen nearly a third of its resorts in the next few months, though it faces a challenge to recover from the coronavirus outbreak, the state governor said on Monday.

Carlos Joaquin, the governor of Quintana Roo, the state which is home to popular beach resort Cancun, said the market would be “very difficult” even as hotels began reopening.

“We estimate we can head towards reopening about 30 percent, that’s what we think we can achieve in the coming months,” Joaquin told reporters in Cancun at a news conference alongside Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Most of the immediate business would be from domestic tourists, though some U.S. and Canadian reservations were also beginning to come through, Joaquin said.

A number of hotels plan to open on June 8, others on June 15, while some will not restart business until July, he added.

Mexico, which reported its first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus weeks after the United States and Canada, has just begun reopening its economy from the coronavirus lockdown.

Daily tallies of new infections and deaths from the virus in Mexico were still reaching new highs last week.

Before the pandemic, tourism represented nearly 9% of Mexican gross domestic product, according to official data. (Reporting by Dave Graham; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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