SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE
6:27 a.m. March 25, 2008
Baja California officials glad to see more visitors
TIJUANA: Baja California tourism officials say they saw
a significant increase in visitors during the four-day
Easter weekend compared with the past few months, bringing
much-needed income to struggling tourist destinations.
Advertisement At a news conference yesterday, Tourism
Secretary Oscar Escobedo Carignán said 143,000
U.S. and Mexican travelers spent about $18 million from
Thursday to Sunday. Last year, the state tallied 149,000
visitors during the popular vacation period, when spring
break and the Christian Holy Week coincide.
Tourism officials say a range of factors contributed to
the decline in visitors to the state last year, including
reports of crime, lengthy border waits, an economic downturn
in California and the announcement of stiffer U.S. proof-of-citizenship
requirements for border crossers. Hotel
occupancy was highest in the Gulf of California community
of San Felipe, which registered average occupancy rates
of 99.4 percent for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
In Ensenada, the figure was 84.5, and in Rosarito Beach,
the average occupancy was 62.5 percent, according to the
tourism secretariat's tally. –S.D.