Residents of a small fishing village on Mexico’s Riviera Maya are up in arms about the expansion of a hedonistic swingers club in their town.
Puerto Morelos, a hamlet of just under 10,000 people located about 37 miles south of Cancun on the Yucatán Peninsula, is known as a tourist hot-spot for its secluded beaches, world-class scuba diving and water sports.
But since news broke last year that the town’s family-friendly wedding destination Ceiba del Mar Resort and Spa would be transformed into Desire Resort and Spa -- a couples-only, clothing-optional swingers resort – locals have been concerned that tourism will take a hit.
Desire has another location in Puerto Morelos in a more secluded area six miles from town, but the new space, which opened this month, is on the strip of beach in between the town center and a hotel zone that is frequented by locals and vacationers.
The opening of the second Desire location comes as Mexico, and the Yucatán Peninsula in particular, prepare for December 21, the date in Mayan mythology that marks the end of a 5,125 year-long cycle, which some believe could mark a doomsday-like scenario. The day has been a big tourist pull, and the Mexico Tourism Board estimates that 52 million domestic and international tourists will visit the southeastern part of the country in 2012.
Tourist have already been flocking to sites that are catering to all type of tourist, from the luxury-seekers, to the foodie-types, to those looking for a more spiritual break. But local restaurant owners and tour operators say they're not interested in getting the type of tourist Desire is expected to attract, and don't want their businesses exposed to the potentially tawdry goings-on at the resort.
“People in Puerto Morelos don’t like the idea of Desire. People here are conservative,” Wilmo Zetina, the co-owner of Pelicanos, one of the town’s largest restaurants and beach clubs, told FoxNews.com. ...
22. February, 2011 | #