Government and tourism officials from Puerto Vallarta Tourism, the State of Jalisco and the Mexican Tourism board met yesterday in Miami with cruise line representatives to discuss enhancements to operations in the destination, following cruise cancellations prompted by reports of drug-traffic related violence earlier this month.
Jalisco’s Minister of Tourism, Enrique Ramos Flores, the Tourism Director of the City of Puerto Vallarta, Oscar Perez, the Director of the Mexican Tourism Board for North America, Rodrigo Esponda and the Directors of Security for the State of Jalisco and the City of Puerto Vallarta met with Michele Paige, President of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), and Representatives from Leading cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival and Disney.
During the meeting all parties agreed to improve and increase communications to ensure the cruise lines are kept better informed and receive updates in real time about the destination, according to a statement from the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board.
Enhancements to the security at Puerto Vallarta’s marina will be implemented to ensure the cruise lines know the whereabouts of all passengers who go ashore; as it is done in many other international cruise destinations. An average of 65% of cruise line passengers who disembark in Puerto Vallarta chose to explore the area unescorted. The City of Puerto Vallarta will work with local tour operators, taxi drivers and other tourism service providers to employ new measures that inform the ships of their passengers’ location.
This week Disney, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruises did not make the last stop of their seasonal route in Puerto Vallarta as scheduled due to conflicting and inaccurate reports about events that occurred on May 1 in the destination, according to the board of tourism.
Carnival Cruises has been calling on Puerto Vallarta as scheduled.
Currently, Carnival Cruises is the only cruise line operating a weekly scheduled call in the destination which is entering summer season. All cruise ship calls to Puerto Vallarta have been and are expected to continue as scheduled.
The events that took place in Puerto Vallarta and other areas in the state of Jalisco on Friday morning May 1 were quickly contained and resolved, according to the board.
No harm came to any residents or visitors to Puerto Vallarta and no disturbance, restriction or limits affected tourists in the area, the board stated. All tourism infrastructure and services including the cruise ship terminal, marina, airport, convention center, hotels and resorts, tours, and ground transport remained fully operational. Puerto Vallarta continues to offer the tranquility, warm hospitality and security it is well known for, and the isolated and highly unusual incidents that took place have in no way affected or altered this.
Hotel occupation has been running at an average of 80% occupancy in Puerto Vallarta since October 2014; according to the Mexico Ministry of Tourism and Puerto Vallarta was operating at 95% full during the long holiday weekend between May 1t–4. The North American Travel Journalist Association (NATJA) Annual Conference was held in Puerto Vallarta between May 4-9 and the city hosted over 140 American and Canadian travel writers, editors, bloggers, photographers, and videographers. All delegates enjoyed numerous activities and excursions throughout the city on their own as well as in group outings during their week-long visit and have been posting blogs, live tweets, photos and videos of their experience.