In brief…

My energies are focused elsewhere at the moment. Thanks for visiting.

TripAdvisor Cancún wiki

September 15th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún, News

I really do think that this could mean the death knell for travel guidebooks as we currently know them!

TripAdvisor Inside™ is a travel wiki. We can all now read, write and edit online travel guides on thousands of destinations around the world. There are no doubt other examples, but TripAdvisor are the big players.

Travellers – and residents – can now collaborate to write travel guides together. One person starts a topic, like “Cancún: Travelling during Hurricane Season” Another person adds to it. Another fixes a couple of typos. Another adds more to it. And shortly you have a travel topic written from the collective wisdom of dozens of people.

Better than an outdated guidebook.

In brief…

John Bordsen of the Charlotte Observer interviews Abelardo Juarez, the manager of Señor Frog’s in Cancún on post-Wilma recovery.

Viva Cancún

August 14th, 2006 by Mel Zelniker filed under Cancún, News

Cancún beach fiesta - August 12th, 2006Thirty days since our last visit to the beach and what a difference. Fonatur and Mother Nature have been at work: The beach is clean. The beach is wide. The ‘shelves’ have gone. The water is beautiful.

The Cancún Palace is a mess; still looming over the beach, imposing an ugly and noisy backdrop to the festivities. Nevertheless, the beach appears to be back to its glorious self.

Cancún beach party

July 31st, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún, News

la fiesta de playa mas grande del mundo logoKitty Bean Yancey writing in USA TODAY says that tourism officials are throwing what’s billed as "world’s largest beach party" from August 11th -13th, including sand-sculpture and surfing contests, food, music and booze.

The article also includes some hotel updates…

the 515-room Westin Resort & Spa reopened July 7th, but still has rooms being worked on
the 365-room Ritz-Carlton Cancun is due to reopen in mid-September
the 450-room J.W. Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa has 235 rooms open. All are due back by the end of August
the 450-room Marriott Casa Magna Cancun Resort has 200 rooms open; all are due back by the end of August
the 300-room Hyatt Regency Cancun is due back in November

Travellers unfazed by hurricane predictions

July 26th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under News, Weather

In a recent survey of more than 3,000 people conducted by TripAdvisor, 89 percent of respondents said their vacation plans have not been affected by the early predictions of another active hurricane season. Fifty-eight percent said they plan to visit a hurricane-susceptible destination such as Cancún.

Still, last year’s rash of storms did make an impression: sixty-three percent said they would purchase travel insurance.

So as we look ahead to the really big tropical months coming up – August and September – let’s hope that the Atlantic remains as quiet as it has during June and July. But something tells me it won’t.

In brief…

James Palmer writes beautifully about diving a cenote (sinkhole) in The Independent.

I wrote about cenotes back in March. You can read the post here.

Don’t mention the “h-word”

June 30th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún, Hotel groups, News

I’ve previously posted some thoughts on the subject of ‘hurricane preparedness’. Then, earlier this week, I got a call from USA TODAY reporter Laura Bly. We talked at some length about the post-Wilma recovery in Cancún: the positive, the less positive, and some areas still to see some action.

Laura quotes me in her article published today, although my opinions are rather more rounded than they might appear from the morsel in Laura’s piece.

Beach takes two steps forward, one step back

June 29th, 2006 by Mel Zelniker filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún

This report concerns the beach front between Park Royal and the Cancún Palace. 

This morning, whether from neglect or design, the beaches were positively filthy. It was as though Fonatur [the Mexican tourism development agency] has given up on cleaning the beaches, which were clogged with huge bundles of seaweed and other detritus.

Looking south from Playa BallenasIt seemed as though the Park Royal had attempted a small cleanup, but it could also be the meter to meter and a half ‘shelf’ in front of the property keeping the seaborne garbage off the beach.

The beaches in front of Le Meridien and Ritz Carlton have lost their shelves and the sea has deposited what appears to be about five meters…

Cancún: the jewel in the crown

June 28th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún

Aerial photo of Cancun Hotel Zone courtesy of Cancún Visitors Bureau
This recent photo clearly shows Punta Cancún (foreground) and the restored beach heading south. View a (dazzling) larger version.

Photo courtesy of Cancún Visitors Bureau (Oficina de Visitantes y Convenciones de Cancún), with additional thanks to Manuel Cuevas and Sandra Ibarra of William H. Coleman Inc.

June beach update

June 13th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún, Photos

The ecology zone in front of the Golden Crown Paradise. Le Meridien can be seen in the backgroundAfter walking the beach and getting well crisped by the sun, Mel Zelniker took this photo of the beach in front of the Cancún Palace on June 4th.

While the hotel is being re-developed, an "Ecological Restoration Area" has been planted at the back of the beach. A ‘beautification’ project really.

View a larger version of  Mel’s photo of the beach.

Mel adds that it appears the beach cleaning is restricted to hotels that are open; the area in front of Le Meridien (the green-roofed building in the background) is pristine, while the area next door in front of the Ritz Carlton is laden with seaweed and junk.

Another photo of the ecological restoration area, and another.

Humble hummingbird

June 5th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under News

Steve Bridger Wins 2006 Colibri Ecotourism Achievement AwardToday is a good day. The sun is out. That’s three days in a row.

It just got even better. As part of the global celebration of World Environment Day, Planeta.com has named me as the recipient of the annual Colibri Ecotourism Achievement Award, largely for my work on this blog.

Colibri means "Hummingbird" in Spanish and this year the Award celebrates its sixth anniversary, making this one of the longest-running ecotourism awards. Needless to say, I’m chuffed to bits.

You can read what some very nice people have to say about me on the award

Time out…

May 5th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under News

After five solid months of trabajando hasta las horas de la noche, burning the midnight oil, scouring the wires, trying to write coherently and accurately about the post-Wilma recovery, I needed to take a break; re-charge the batteries. That’s all it is tough, a time out.

Again, a big thank you to all those who have helped make this blog what it is. You may notice that there is no one on this long list from the Mexico Tourism Board. Despite frequent emails to over thirty individuals in Mexico City and Quintana Roo, not one of them felt the need to acknowledge this work.

As always, email me with your thoughts on how to improve this website…

The long goodbye

April 13th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún

Two weeks ahead of schedule, and a just a few days short of six months after Hurricane Wilma left her ugly footprint on Cancún, the resort now boasts miles of golden sand.

Gabriela Rodríguez Gálvez - photo courtesy Diario de Yucatan"Jan de Nul is getting ready to pack its bags" Gabriela Rodríguez Gálvez, Secretary of Tourism for Quintana Roo state (pictured) declared yesterday.

She added that the last recycled sand was being flushed onto a 70m stretch of beach in front of the hotel El Pueblito, the only section of the 11.7km (7-mile) strip which did not get its promised measure of 25m first time round.

While the two dredgers disappear over the horizon, Belgian maritime engineering company Jan de Nul may yet win…

In brief…

April 12th – Bloomberg journalist Thomas Black does a good job of pulling together the facts on the beach recovery in this article.

Back to the future

April 12th, 2006 by Steve Bridger filed under Cancún Beach Recovery, Cancún

Playa Delfines, April 11th - photo: Steve Just as some of us anticipated, it seems that Jan de Nul has returned to the spot where they began the beach recovery project on February 1st. Probably to sort out the issue of the sand "wall".

Many thanks to Steve Wright of CancunCare.com who took this image of the outfall pipe in position on Playa Delfines, ready (presumably) to start pumping sand today.

Here’s another photo… taken just north of El Pueblito and looking south towards the Westin and Punta Nizuc.