Yesterday, Mexican news reports said that tourism was up around 2% in 2011. That's good news, and surprisingly, it just might be true. Last month, for the first time in three years, the numbers in our business, Jasmine Spa, went up. That is, after a steady three-year slide in earnings, October 2011 was better than October 2010.
Why? I have absolutely no idea. There were times during the past three years when Carlos and I considered closing Jasmine Spa. There was the swine flu, blamed on Mexico even though I personally knew of NOBODY in the state of Guanajuato who had the illness. Then, on top of the bugs: drugs. Escalating power fights between the cartels on the coasts and on the border, but NOT here in our town, and relentless media coverage of it, had some people believing Mexico was a war zone. The sluggish economic recovery in the United States didn´t help. The landlord would come around and we'd have nothing to offer but empty pockets.
But we kept on. A base of local clients kept us paying the phone and light bills. We struck deals with our kids' schools. We stayed home, or went to the presa (lake) and watched the water and the sun. I worked on my writing, not memoir this time but a Young Adult novel. And now, a good month. Rental people say THanksgiving weekend will bring tourists as well.
All I can say is Viva Mexico.
Hey, a really cool site called spanglishbaby reviewed my travel/romance memoir, Flirting in Spanish. Check it out!