Mexico Advances 6 Positions in Tourism International Ranking

Mexico Advances 6 Positions in Tourism International Ranking

Aug 31, 2015

Unlike other sectors, the tourism industry maintains a strong optimistic outlook for the rest of the year and predicts that in 2016 it will show even greater growth in the industry that has been one of the principal drivers of the national economy and is a national priority for the first time. Hotel and travel agency leaders said that public tourism policies are lining up little by little evidenced by the fact that Mexico went from 44th to 30th place in the Travel and Tourism Competitive Index, the country’s best ranking since 2007. Mexican Association of Hotels and Motels (AMHM) President Rafael García González said in an interview with Mexican Media Corporation CAPTIAL MEDIA that the sector’s optimism is well-founded due to the 10 percent increase in foreign visitors in 2014. Mexican vacationers are also opting to travel domestically because of this year’s drastic increase in the value of the U.S. dollar. “I see that the (former) Tourism Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu travels all the time with President Enrique Peña Nieto which has been done with the guiding principle of promoting the (tourism) sector and the economy. More agreements are being made with other nations such as England and others are forthcoming with Germany and China. These cultural exchanges have provided strong momentum,” he said. In addition, the promotional campaign “Viva para creerlo” (Live it to believe it) is well positioned at an international level and has been well executed. The proof is in the results, which are significant and exceed expectations, García González said. The hotel industry hopes to close 2015 with a 5 percent growth in the number of visitors and room occu- pation increasing from 60 to 65 percent, said García González. García González said that there are “well identified” and isolated hubs of insecurity and security concerns decreased tourism activity. However, he believes that this will improve in the affected states because safety is fundamental for travel. García González, proprietor of the Robles hotels mainly located in the Centro Histórico and the Zona Rosa, said that there are very positive figures of hotel room occupation and trusts that the recovery will continue to 10 percent increased development. Ana Patricia de la Peña Sánchez, president of the Mexican...

Bullfighting Banned in Coahuila

Bullfighting Banned in Coahuila

Aug 30, 2015

The Governor of the Northern Mexican State of Coahuila, Rubén Moreira Valdez, enacted a decree for the Reform of the Animal Protection and Fair Treatment Law, in doing so banning the tradition of bullfighting. Coahuila becomes the third state in the country to ban the sport. Moreira, accompanied by Government Congress Meeting President José María Fraustro Siller, deputies Javier de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza and Claudia Elisa Morales Salazar and former local legislator José Refugio Sandoval, announced the initiative to the legislative power. The suggestion was approved by local legislators Aug. 21, with 16 votes in favor and five against. The governor confirmed that the bill prohibits the running of bulls, heifers and bullocks. The practice of taunting the animals and spearing them has also been banned. Moreira thanked local legislators who debated the bill, including those who did not support it, as well as the various community members who protested against the spectacle. He noted that Coahuila is joining the states of Guerrero and Sonora in banning events which are violent, barbarous and cruel toward animals, adding that Mexican heroes Benito Juárez and Venustiano Carranza also wanted to ban bullfighting. The governor added that he believes that bullfighting is a spectacle dying around the world, stating his hope that Coahuila becomes a reference point for other states around the country to ban the tradition. The cruelty and suffering experienced by animals in the ring is a clear sign of the event’s failure, said Moreira. The reform will “comply with international animal protection standards … not only is this an issue of violence, but also of torture,” said the governor. Moreira said that unfortunately the bill was not unanimously approved, due to arguments suggesting that bullfighting is an art form and an important part of Mexican culture. “This is not true, because art creates positive things. It does not mistreat and torture living beings,” concluded governor Moreira.  ...

Sea Levels are Rising Faster than Predicted years ago, and it’s Very Likely to Get Worse

Sea Levels are Rising Faster than Predicted years ago, and it’s Very Likely to Get Worse

Aug 29, 2015

“Oceans Will Rise Much More Than Predicted”: NASA According to space.com, a new NASA model is showing just how fast sea levels are rising around the world as a result of climate change. At a news conference on Tuesday August 26th, NASA officials described a new computer visualization of sea level change incorporating data collected by satellites since 1992 — it reveals that sea levels are rising quickly but unevenly across the globe. The space agency will continue to investigate the global phenomenon, and new satellite missions in the coming years will increase researchers’ knowledge of the topic, officials said. “Sea level rise is one of the most visible signatures of our changing climate, and rising seas have profound impacts on our nation, our economy and all of humanity,” Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., said at the news conference. [Climate Change Impact: NASA’s 21st Century Predictions (Video)] “By combining space-borne direct measurements of sea level with a host of other measurements from satellites and sensors in the oceans themselves, NASA scientists are not only tracking changes in ocean heights but are also determining the reasons for those changes,” Freilich added. As Earth heats up, sea levels are rising because of three main factors: the expansion of seawater as it warms, melting ice sheets in places like Greenland and Antarctica, and melting glaciers across the world. Each of these factors seems to be contributing relatively equally to sea level rise right now, and NASA is deploying tools to better understand and model all three. UCLA’s Laurence Smith deployed this autonomous drifter in a meltwater river on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet in July 2015 as part of an effort to understand the causes of sea level rise around the globe. Credit: NASA/Jefferson Beck View full size image NASA’s data reveals that, although the picture is complex, sea levels overall are rising faster than they were 50 years ago — more quickly than expected — and that the speed will likely increase in the future, primarily because ofmelting ice sheets. To study sea levels, NASA has used satellite altimetry, which measures the time a radar burst takes to hit Earth’s...

U.S.-based Center for Biological Diversity Opens Its First Office in Mexico

U.S.-based Center for Biological Diversity Opens Its First Office in Mexico

Aug 28, 2015

La Paz, Mexico – The Center for Biological Diversity, a leading U.S. wildlife-protection group, opened an office in Mexico this week to help save endangered sea turtles, porpoises and other wildlife from extinction. The office is the Center’s first outside the United States. “Mexico’s home to a stunning array of wildlife, and far too many of these animals face the prospect of disappearing forever,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center. “We’re at a critical moment in the fight to save endangered species and wild places in the United States and beyond. Having a Center representative on the ground in Mexico, advocating for species every day, will give us exciting new opportunities to prevent the tragedy of extinction.” Even if current projects are applied thoroughly, and according to plan, it would be difficult for the vaquita to recover. The Center’s Mexico office will build on its existing work to conserve Mexican wildlife. For years the Center has sought the protection of cross-border species like Mexican wolves and jaguars, as well as condors and black-footed ferrets. The Center is also working to save the critically endangered vaquita porpoise, a species with only about 50 animals remaining, from fishing nets in the Gulf of California, and has advocated to stop the massive bycatch of endangered loggerhead sea turtles off Baja California Sur through pressure both in Mexico and in the United States. “I’m thrilled to be joining an organization with an unparalleled record of protecting species and the places they live,” said Alex Olivera, the Center’s Mexico representative. “Mexico is my home, and the wildlife here – from jaguars in the north to vaquita in the Gulf of California – are an essential part of what makes this place so vital and special. We’ve got work to do, though, to ensure they survive for generations to come.” Olivera is a marine biologist from the University of Baja California Sur. He has a master’s degree in use, management and preservation of natural resources and a Diploma in Environmental Law. Olivera comes to the Center after years of excellent work at the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (Cemda) and Greenpeace México. The Center is the leading endangered wildlife group...

Peña Nieto Modifies Cabinet, and Survey says he is Increasingly Unpopular

Peña Nieto Modifies Cabinet, and Survey says he is Increasingly Unpopular

Aug 27, 2015

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced cabinet “modifications”, with the intention of strengthening the second half of his administration. A few days before the delivery of his Third Government Report (3er Informe de Gobierno), to the Chamber of Deputies, Peña Nieto began a “reengineering” of his cabinet. These are the modifications in ministries and federal agencies announced by the president: Claudia Ruiz Massieu, new Ministry of Foreign Affairs, (replacing Jose Antonio Meade). Jose Antonio Meade, new Secretary of Social Development, (replacing Rosario Robles). Rosario Robles, new Secretary of Agrarian, Land and Urban Development, (replacing Jesus Murrillo Karam). José Calzada Rovirosa, new Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, (replacing Enrique Martinez y Martinez). Rafael Pacchiano Alaman, new Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, (replacing Juan José Guerra Abud, who in turn will be the next ambassador to Mexico in Italy). Enrique de la Madrid, new Minister of Tourism, (replacing Claudia Ruiz Massieu). Francisco Guzman, new head of the Office of the Presidency, (replacing Aurelio Nuño). Renato Sales Heredia, new National Security Commissioner, (replacing Monte Alejandro Rubido). Aurelio Nuño, new Secretary of Public Education, (replacing Emilio Chuayffet). Jose Reyes Baeza, new director of the ISSSTE (Instituto de Salud y Seguridad Social para Trabajadores del Estado), (replacing Luis Antonio Godina Herrera).                   Declining Ratings for Mexico’s Peña Nieto   Three years after being elected president, Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto is increasingly unpopular. Following a year plagued by scandal and controversy, his ratings have fallen, and Mexicans have grown disappointed with key elements of his ambitious agenda. A new Pew Research Center survey of Mexico finds 44% of the public expressing a favorable view of Peña Nieto, down from 51% in 2014. Moreover, his ratings on specific issues have dropped sharply. Last year, 55% approved of how Peña Nieto was handling education. Education reform is a cornerstone of his presidency that has met with intense opposition from the country’s powerful teachers unions. However, this year just 43% give him a favorable review on this issue. Only 35% of Mexicans now think Peña Nieto is doing a good job of managing the country’s ongoing battle against organized crime and drug...