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Difficult Times for Local Vendors

Cozumel, Mexico
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for Cozumel, Merida
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Difficult Times for Local Vendors

This article caught my attention because it features the photo of Peter, a local vendor I have talked to for many years. He has been involved in commission sales of tours and timeshare for many years. I always avoided timeshare sales people but always stopped to talk with Peter wherever I saw him working on the island.

For 10 years he has been working for a commission on the sale of tours and packages. In its early days in high season his income was 40 thousand pesos for commissions every month.Now in the best months, he is fortunate to reach 12 thousand pesos. He supports a wife and four children on this.

Like many who work on the island, he is considering moving to the mainland and leaving the family behind on the island. Peter points out the area of the main square is dead and local government does little or nothing to attract tourists to the area.

I hope things improve for him. I am seen him working hard to support his family for years.

sipse.com/novedades/viven-comisionistas-cris…

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1. Re: Difficult Times for Local Vendors

Hello Robert,

I too see him and speak when there. I think a couple factors have caused this. Over the years some of the vendors have become too aggressive, as some of the shop owners. Many visitors and my-self, find this to be a turn-off and simply try to avoid downtown. It is a shame as I used to enjoy that part of the trip. I guess the poor economy has driven them to be agressive.

Cozumel, Mexico
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2. Re: Difficult Times for Local Vendors

I agree, cd. Two sides to the issue. Business is down and that likely causes vendors to become more agressive and because of agressive vendors,many may avoid the area. I know I avoid 5th Av. in Playa for that reason.

I have always done to best to steer clear of timeshare people, which is the work Peter did for years. But I didn´t avoid him because we joked about the timeshares. He would tell me to just take a jeep to drive for the day and he would get his commission even if I didn´t buy. And I would reply, ¨are you nuts, Peter?¨ . But really, a nice guy to talk to and I wish him the best in whatever he chooses to do.

Dallas, Texas
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3. Re: Difficult Times for Local Vendors

Having just got back from Coz yesterday( trip report to follow) I will agree that the points already made are indeed factors.

But I must also add that once again, like past trips, I had cruise boat people tell me they were told by ship personnel that San Miguel is not safe to go into. IMHO, that is a HUGE factor in the noticeable continued decline of the downtown area. Each trip, I notice a few more closed shops, shops closing early, restaurants out of business, etc.

My heart goes out to the people of San Miguel.

I am not sure how, but they must find a way to thwart the cruise lines' blatant attempt to cut them out of any and all profits made from people coming to their island.

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San Miguel
San Miguel
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Cozumel, Mexico
The Colony, Texas
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4. Re: Difficult Times for Local Vendors

Between the cruise ships telling people to stay away from down town - people going to AI's and not venturing out and the aggressive vendors - it's all playing a part in San Miguel downfall.

I will be there next week. I leave Friday for a week in Valladolid and Akumal then over to Coz for a week. I only go downtown EARLY in the morning - I love watching the shop owners opening up getting ready for their day or later in the evening when the cruise ships are gone - the shop owners that are still open are less likely to be aggressive then. I can enjoy some leisurely shopping. We go into town every night for dinner and walking around. I love downtown - I just know when to avoid it to keep it pleasurable.

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San Miguel
San Miguel
396 Reviews
Cozumel, Mexico
Akumal
Akumal
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Cozumel, Mexico
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5. Re: Difficult Times for Local Vendors

"I am not sure how, but they must find a way to thwart the cruise lines' blatant attempt to cut them out of any and all profits made from people coming to their island"

You have that right, Eno. My friend , who is an island tour guide and takes people by van on tours, has told me about cruise passengers showing him information from the ship warning them of the dangers of Cozumel. The cruise lines want all done in ways in which they profit---tours they sell and shops they recommend who pay them a commission. It´s a real shame that rather than try to help the local economy and small shopkeepers, they are consumed by greed.

6. Re: Difficult Times for Local Vendors

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fort worth
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7. Re: Difficult Times for Local Vendors

I think the taxi union and the well publicized jailing of some tourists that were essentially held hostage have a portion of the responsibility also.

Everyone I tell I am going to thinks it is hugely dangerous also.

Myrtle Beach, South...
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8. Re: Difficult Times for Local Vendors

those of us who care are few. those who do not are many. even so, i am not buying a timeshare (: ... i am generous to a fault to all islanders i encounter..i wouldn't have it any other way.

Zihuatanejo, Mexico
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9. Re: Difficult Times for Local Vendors

While I was wintering this past January-March in Cabo San Lucas, the local newspaper printed an article on the decline in the number of cruise ships coming there. It sent a shock wave thru the tour guys on the street...and even some of the timeshare people. They all know that if the cruise people take fun tours, they might return to Cabo...and then the timeshare people can hit on them! There were many days of sadness...listening to the guys talk about "going back home" (most are from the mainland)...to their wives and kids where there is NO money to be made. I felt bad for most of them...as they had become my friends...respecting that I was there in an apartment, didn't want any of their tours, had lots of travel stories that we could talk about..and to enjoy each other when I would pass by their booths on the street. Only one timeshare man was rude and horrible...and the restaurant he was working at went down after just a few months due to him.

If these Cabo guys can't make any money on the mainland now...will your friends you are talking about be able to? Some were given an option to go to LaPaz to work...given 3 months free rent to get settled into the area, to study it, and to learn about the tours. Most did not want to take that option.

It's going to be tough...will hurt their wives and kids...and it is just a rough situation for them all. It makes me feel guilty that I have the money to take a vacation, and they are talking about just feeding their wives and kids...puts it in the proper perspective, truly.

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Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas
Los Cabos, Mexico
Cozumel, Mexico
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10. Re: Difficult Times for Local Vendors

"If these Cabo guys can't make any money on the mainland now...will your friends you are talking about be able to?"

Good question, Judy. I think they may just perceive things are booming on the mainland and they can make a better living there. I think its much like the old " grass is always greener" saying. I do really feel bad for Peter and others who have a similar problem. I know some who have tried to keep their home in Cozumel and commute to mainland jobs. But even with the locals ferry discount, the fare takes a big hunk of their pay.