Printed in La Voz de Michoacan newspaper, 15 july 2013

Crisis at City Hall – Promotion funds withdrawn

City says money collected for the promotion of IZ will not be paid

By Victor R. Alvarado

Due to the lack of economic resources the Zihuatanejo City Hall has suspended a payment of approximately 8 million pesos that is normally delivered each year to the Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCV) for the promotion of this beach destination.
It was argued that the economic crisis affecting this port town was the reason that these resources could not be delivered and that it will be next year before promotion funds can be paid.
Cristobal Aburto Pineda, councilor of the Tourism Commission (Regidor de la comisión de turismo), stated the above and added that Zihuatanejo Mayor Eric Fernandez Ballestero explained to the Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCV) that they will not receive payment from the municipal government for promotion until next year.
He said that the millions of pesos for promotion will continue to be raised through water bill payments (Editor´s note: a portion of what Zihuatanejo consumers pay to CAPAZ (the water company) on their water bills goes toward the city budget), but only half, the other 50 percent will be used for the implementation of environmental protection.
The councilor pointed out that the mayor has the support of city hall in this decision and that they considered it a very good one.
He said that this point of agreement shall enter into force from next year on, adding that it is regrettable that the municipality has not complied with their financial obligation, however the city for its part, has contributed to the promotion of the beach destination with sporting events that have been covered on national television.
Aburto Pineda acknowledged that city will not deliver the funds that were collected for the purpose of promotion via 15 per cent of the receipts of water bills, however, in this case it is because of causes beyond their control.
Finally, he said that even though the Ayuntamiento will not be paying these funds, the OCV still has to do its part to promote tourism to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, which has now become merely a weekend destination.