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Last updateFri, 03 Apr 2020 2pm

Businesses hew to sanitary guidelines as tourism takes a hit

Hotels and restaurants in Guadalajara are embracing directives from the state government’s health and travel authorities, who are stepping up to the new coronavirus challenge.

pg3aBut the tourist sector faces an uphill struggle in the face of predictions that the mighty microbe is growing and will manifest in force in Mexico in about three weeks. Meanwhile sanitary measures such as masks, social distancing and cleaning are more evident every day.

Tourism accounts for about nine percent of Mexico’s gross domestic product, and the country is the number one destination for U.S. tourists, according to Forbes magazine. Accordingly, Jalisco’s many workers in the tourism industry—in Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta and Chapala—seem disposed to follow directives from state authorities—the governor and Secretaría de Turismo de Jalisco (Secturjal)—which were publicized last weekend. (The state response contrasts with the federal, which, at the presidential level, projects an unresponsive tone.)

Staff at the reception desk of the five-story, modern, mid-price Guadalajara Portobelo Hotel said Tuesday they were aware of the official directives and showed a paper survey they hand out at check-in to ask guests about symptoms.

“We’ve started using a cleaning solution with chlorine now,” said one staffer. Kitchen workers for the restaurant, which has about a dozen tables, are using masks, gloves and aprons, the staffer pointed out. However, the morning buffet, not recommended in the Secturjal guidelines due to the sharing of serving utensils, was still happening, staffers said, and tables had not been moved apart. (The state guidelines ask restaurants to reduce seating capacity 25 percent.)

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