Mexico’s new federal budget leaves 121 Magical Villages hanging

In 2019, all 121 Magical Villages in Mexico could be left without federal funds, according to SECTUR

Mexico’s new federal budget leaves 121 Magical Villages hanging
In 2018 alone, the Federal Government spent MXN$586 million on the program, which started operating during the government of Vicente Fox in 2001 - Photo: Fernando Ramírez/EL UNIVERSAL
English 21/12/2018 19:25 Ángel Delgado Mexico City Actualizada 19:25

In 2019, all 121 Magical Villages in Mexico could be left without federal funds since the Project for 2019’s Federal Expenditure Budget does not include resources for the Program of Regional Touristic Development and Magical Villages (Prodermágico), which will likely leave numerous communities that have been granted the status of “Magical Villages” hanging.

The Minister of Tourism, Miguel Torruco Marqués, hinted that the Prodermágico program will disappear, arguing that the Federal Government would instead look to make entities and municipalities that have received the Magical Village recognition invest in their own infrastructure and tourist promotion.

Even though the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) will have a 124% budget increase in 2019 for the construction of the Mayan Train, all financial support for the Prodermágico program will disappear.

This decision has raised concerns regarding tourism development and economic income in said villages.

In 2018 alone, the Federal Government spent MXN$586 million on the program, which started operating during the government of Vicente Fox in 2001. The program was meant to change the strategy for tourist promotion in the country by granting subsidies for infrastructure development and service offer in specific communities.

The State of Mexico, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Puebla, Querétaro, Veracruz, and Zacatecas will be most affected by the cancellation of the federal program, since these nine states account for half of the country’s “Magical Villages.”

In Sinaloa, the Tourism secretary Oscar Pérez Barros claimed that the resource allocation scheme would change. As for the program itself, he claimed that both the Federal Minister of Tourism and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had assured its continuity during a meeting at the National Governors’ Conference (CONAGO).

In order to maintain the Magical Village status for Real de Catorce and Aquismón, the government of San Luis Potosí informed that they would look for other options and both federal and state programs to obtain resources for tourism development.

In Jalisco, deputy Luis Ernesto Munguía stated that Tequila, Lagos de Moreno, Mazamitla, Tapalpa, San Sebastián del Oeste, Talpa, and Mascota would suffer the consequences of the budget cuts since they will no longer receive the MXN$26 million inflow from Prodermágico.
 

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