Tourism Industry Pleads Mexico’s AMLO: Please Don’t Cancel Long Weekends

Andrea Navarro and Lorena Rios

(Bloomberg) -- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s what Mexico’s tourism industry is telling President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador after he proposed canceling long weekends.

AMLO, as the president is known, wants holidays to be celebrated on the actual day that they happened to boost their historical significance. For many years now, Mexico has moved holidays that fall in the middle of the week to either Monday or Friday so people can enjoy a long weekend.

Getting rid of these would hurt the economy and the tourism industry, said the head of tourism chamber Concanaco Servytur, Jose Manuel Lopez, in a statement. Long weekends are when people are able to travel to nearby, domestic spots, he said, and it’s when transportation services, restaurants and hotels register significant increases in cash flows.

“We’re doing a lot of things that are helping tourism grow,” Lopez Obrador said in his morning press conference on Thursday. “We’re cleaning beaches, we’re building the Maya Train and working to increase road security. So this won’t impact tourism. On the contrary, we’ll be affected if we forget our past.”

Concanaco’s Lopez said long weekends also allow workers to relieve some stress and come back to work recharged. Mexico only has seven official holidays per year, one of the fewest in the world.

The Finance Ministry is going to review the president’s initiative to analyze its possible impact on the industry, Deputy Finance Minister Gabriel Yorio told media on Thursday. “We’d have to see how it would be implemented, but we’ll analyze it.”

(Updates with comments by Deputy Finance Minister in sixth paragraph.)

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrea Navarro in Mexico City at anavarro30@bloomberg.net;Lorena Rios in Mexico City at lriost@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Case at bcase4@bloomberg.net, Nacha Cattan

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