Mexican resort launches controversial ‘anything goes’ tourism ad


MEXICO CITY (AP) – The Mexican coastal city of Acapulco released a pair of controversial video ads on Thursday touting the faded resort’s reputation as an ‘anything goes’ tourist destination because they weren’t appropriate during the season. coronavirus pandemic.

The governor of the Pacific Coast state of Guerrero was quick to criticize the ads, in which tourists are pictured going to parties, swimming pools and nightclubs without masks or social distancing.

“We stopped being a postcard of the past, today we changed the rules,” says a voiceover narration in one of the videos. “Actually, there are no rules,” said another voice, as you can see people eating weird meals and going out to nightclubs. “Eat what you want, have fun day and night and until the early hours of the morning… find new friends and new loves.”

One of the commercials was also oddly titled – in English – “Mum, I’m in Acapulco”.

Governor Hector Astudillo wrote on Wednesday evening that the ads were “out of step with the times, callous and reckless”. The ads have been removed from tourism promotion websites.

Astudillo wrote on his Twitter account that he preferred the less sexy but more precise slogan “When this is all over, we are waiting for you here.”

Acapulco was once considered glamorous and attracted an international jet set. It was during a vacation there in the 1960s that novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez came up with the idea of ​​”100 years of loneliness”. In 1975, Bill Clinton took a young woman named Hillary on a honeymoon in Acapulco.

But in the 1970s and 1980s, the resort’s infrastructure collapsed and poor and overcrowded settlements sprang up inland from the bay, causing growing problems of unemployment, crime and pollution.

Beginning in 2006, drug gang violence made Acapulco one of the most violent cities in Mexico. The US State Department maintains its highest “do not travel” rating for the city and state of Guerrero, although homicides have fallen by around 20% in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019.

Acapulco has also recorded around 6,000 coronavirus cases to date and 756 deaths, although the pandemic appears to have peaked there in early July and the number has declined in recent weeks. Authorities have allowed a limited reopening of some hotels to around 30% of their capacity, but discos and nightclubs in the city remain closed.

Federal Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco told local media the ads were a failed attempt to lure a new generation – millennials – to a resort whose reputation, as the ads suggest, was stuck in the city. ear of their grandparents.

Indeed, both commercials begin with faded images from the resort’s glory days in the ’60s and’ 70s.

“This video seeks an inclusive market niche, for millennials, but not, of course, for the times we live in today,” Torruco said.

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