Ajijic hotels see an uptick in business but the future is uncertain
Conversations with hotels owners reveal more business coming from Mexico, but the loss of Canadian and American tourism has been painful because they stay longer and send more money
Hotel in downtown Ajijic.
Patrick O’Heffernan, Ajijic. Tourism at Ajijic hotels sees an uptick with the end of emergency rules, but most visitors are from Guadalajara and hotel owners are hopeful for a good Easter weekend, but did not see a rush in reservations. Canadians and Americans are virtually gone from most hotels.
Laguna talked with the owners of a number of Ajijic hotels and heard a similar story; last weekend was an improvement, but with the loss of Canadian and American tourism, bookings were shorter and some guests wanted bargain down prices. And, as of the middle of the week, with one exception, reservations for Easter weekend were low or on-existence, but owners say that many guests, especially from Guadalajara, wait until the last minute to book.
All but one said there was an increase last weekend in guests, most said there was no increase this coming weekend as yet. The notable exception was Hotel Danza del Sol, which specializes in multi-bedroom suites for families and groups, whose reservations representative reported a large increase in bookings for this weekend.
Restaurant at the hotel La Nueva Posada en Ajijic.
The loss of business from Canada and the US has impacted the local hotel business in a number of ways. While hotel owners are pleased with the continuing business from Guadalajara, they report that on average, Tapatios only book for one night, instead of the full weekends, and spend less money than Expat tourists.
This has particularly impacted the business of Casa Tres Leones. Co-owner Emilio Wilson said his hotel established a two-night or more policy 13 years ago because they found that the one-night bookings were more difficult in terms of arriving early, leaving late and requiring extra cleanup work.
“We have been closed since March 20 and are now cleared to open, which we are,” the Australian Expat Wilson told Laguna, “and we had no business last weekend. We could have done well if we took one-night bookings, but our policy for 13-years now is two nights or more, so they did not book.” He added that they have advanced bookings in late March and April from the US and Canada, but those will depend on vaccinations.
The majority of the hotel owners who spoke to Laguna were uncertain about the future. Carmina at Casa Flores said that it has been very hard because “no one is coming from Canada and the US” and she understands that potential tourists from there are not sure of when they can come, so the hotel is not sure of anything. She noted that the Publico Magico could help.