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Spring Break in Cancun

by Archives February 12, 2003

Rated one of MTV’s top Spring Break destinations, Cancun offers a larger-than-life retreat for any traveler. From soft, white, sandy beaches and breathtaking views of the Caribbean’s turquoise coast to the modern extravagance of the newest hotels, restaurants and bars, this tropical destination offers everything for the person seeking extraordinary entertainment.

The most popular and obvious reason most people plan a trip to Cancun is for the sun and to get away from the everyday drudgery. “Getting away from work, [escaping] from the routine, and [doing] nothing,” says Concordia undergraduate Ghassan Hassan on what he considers to be the ideal vacation.

Today, with an average temperature of about 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, Cancun is one of North America’s top spring break destinations according to Kathy Zenetzis, a travel agent at Voyages Campus.

This Mexican getaway features over 25,000 rooms available for travelers and 200 restaurants from which to select while providing its guests with a variety of things to do besides sit in the sun. Day tours in the jungle, swimming excursions with dolphins, snorkeling and sailing are but a few of the activities available to tourists.

Another popular site to visit is the ancient Mayan culture dating back centuries. The old city of Chichen Itza founded in 445 BC and deserted in 1204 AD is one of the most famous regions of the Mayan world according to www.embassyofmexico.org. Cancun’s history is so rich and beautiful that the traveler must take a day trip to the ruins to experience the ultimate retreat and archeological treasure. Its past runs deep.

Originally, the newly formed state of Quantana Roo thought tourism would be a good way to create jobs for the local residents of Cancun. However according to a recent study completed by retired geologist Peter V. Wiese, the industry has had to employ individuals from outside the country who were experienced in tourism. The locals were hired in the domestic and labour-intensive workforces.

Cancun was built for the rich elite during the 1970s and has gone through many changes. For over thirty years, the main “Hotel Zone” has lay along 14 miles of beachfront known as Cancun Island, according to www.gocancun.com. It is within 30 minutes from the Cancun International Airport and was developed once the Mexican government realized the importance of travel for the economy. They deemed Cancun an ideal place to focus their efforts in the development of a picturesque resort town.

In 1988 Hurricane Gilbert hit the city resulting in airport closings and thousands of tourists being forced out of their hotels without food or water. After the disaster, competitively priced travel packages were offered in order to win back the trust of travelers. However, the strategy attracted budget conscious vacationers who did not spend a fraction of what the rich elite once had on shopping and dining.

Before the tourism industry developed in Cancun, the island was industrially bare where, according to Wiese, different types of marine life including many species of sea turtles dwelled. However, most travelers do not know about the severe impact that resorts can have on natural wildlife; especially places like Cancun where various species of marine life inhabit the region.

“The environment is very important but you’re not aware of everything that is going on unless you do research,” says Heather Dane, a commerce student at Concordia, who has visited Cancun.

The resorts were built over 80 per cent of the land and the filtration of fresh water through the ground has been affected by the chemicals and oils which are then filtered into the Lagoon where most marine life inhabits. The water in Cancun is generally safe and purified but Turista, an illness that causes symptoms such as stomach discomfort, must be avoided to enjoy a worry-free vacation. Drinking bottled water to avoid any risk is recommended by www.paradiseparties.com.

There are many factors to consider when traveling to a resort destination. In respecting the local wildlife and preserving the natural habitat of its native species, outsiders will continue to enjoy the opportunity to visit foreign lands for years to come.

For more information about travel packages visit Voyage Campus on the Mezzanine in the Hall building.

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