08 November 2005

Cozumel Tourist Board provides update after Hurricane Wilma

Cozumel tourism officials report rapid progress in the post-hurricane Wilma clean up and restoration effort on the island.

According to Raul Marrufo, director of the Cozumel Tourism Promotion Board, "Now that the essential services have been restored to most of the island, we have shifted our focus to prepare the island for winter visitors. We are enthusiastic about our progress and look forward to a busy tourist season starting in December."

General information:
- Electricity and water has been restored to 90 percent of the island

- The Cozumel Airport officially reopened on October 29, 2005. Mexicana Airlines is currently operating daily flights to Cozumel out of Mexico City. American Airlines will resume its Dallas-to-Cozumel flights on December 16, 2005, operating three flights a week, and Continental has resumed its Houston-to-Cozumel flights, operating three flights a week.

- The first cruise ship is scheduled to arrive on November 14, 2005.

- Several dive shops are open and operating

- Officials from the Cozumel National Marine Park are optimistic and report that many reefs along Cozumel are largely undamaged. Shallow reefs, up to 35 feet deep, were most impacted, while reefs found at greater depths are reported to be in good condition.

- Caverns, including Chankanaab Cavern, F1 Cavern and Aerolito Cavern did not sustain damage and are open.

- More than 30 island excursions have been available since October 31, 2005

- 95 percent of shops and restaurants will be open beginning November 14, 2005

- The Cozumel Country Club will reopen the golf course, offering 9 holes, on December 1, 2005

- The Atlantis Submarine attraction will reopen on December 15, 2005

- Fiesta Holidays is open for snorkeling tours and car rentals

According to Aurelio Joaquin, director of the Foundation of Parks and Museums of Cozumel, "Though the island's parks have sustained some damage, we are thankful that the ruins at San Gervasio were not harmed. We have already begun efforts to restore the parks and will have them ready for visitors to enjoy by the winter travel season."

- The Museum of the Island of Cozumel is now open and fully operational.

- Punta Sur ecological park is currently open for jeep tours.

- Reconstruction has started on Chankanaab National Park, with the tentative opening date scheduled for December 20, 2005

- The Mayan ruins at San Gervasio were not damaged and the archaeological site will reopen on November 14, 2005.

According to Gabriela Verduzco, manager of the Cozumel Hotels Association, "Several hotels have already returned to business as usual and many others will reopen prior to the busy fall season." The following is a list of scheduled reopening dates for various Cozumel hotels and resorts. Some properties are still in the assessment stage and have not yet reported reopening dates.

Hotel -- Scheduled Opening Data
Casa del mar -- December 15, 2005
Casa Mexicana -- Open
Coral Princess -- February 1, 2006
Cozumel Palace -- Pending
Cozumel Resort -- Open
Days Inn -- Open
El CozumeleƱo -- Pending
El Cid la Ceiba -- November 15, 2005
Fiesta Americana -- February 1, 2006
Flamingo -- Open
Hacienda San Miguel -- Pending
Iberostar -- Pending
Melia Cozumel -- December 23, 2005
Occidental Allegro -- January 31, 2006
Occidental Grand -- January 31, 2006
Park Royal -- July 2006
Playa Azul -- December 15, 2005
Presidente InterContinental -- May 2006
Reef Club -- Pending
Scuba Club Cozumel -- November 15, 2005
Sol CabaƱas del Caribe -- Pending
Suites Bahia -- December 15, 2005
Suites Colonial -- December 15, 2005
Villablanca -- November 15, 2005
Vista del Mar -- Open

For additional information and updates about Cozumel hotels contact Gabriela Verduzco directly at gabyverduzco@cozunet.com.

For ongoing destination updates, travelers should visit www.islacozumel.com.mx

Source: www.divenewswire.com


At 6:21 PM, Blogger riverofocean said...

Any one knows the status of scuba diving in Cozumel?


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