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One indicator of the decline in tourism due to swine flu? Hotel occupancy in Mexico City is currently at 27% compared to 50% for the same time last year. At the height of the swine flu, it was as low as 9%.

Marcelo Ebrard wants YOU to visit his city. Photo: Eneas

Mexico City’s mayor, who’s widely credited with implementing ambitious urban initiatives, has successfully chipped away at some of his city’s most challenging issues, including poverty, quality of life crimes, and over-reliance on cars.

Now, he’s turned his energies toward giving Mexico City’s tourism industry the boost it desperately needs since swine flu prompted him to temporarily shut down non-essential operations in the city and tourism dried up.

This week, Mayor Ebrard announced that foreign visitors to Mexico City will automatically be covered by a special insurance plan upon checking into city hotels. The only thing he requests in return is that the traveler write a review of his or her experiences in the city. Not a writer? Mayor Ebrard would be equally happy to see your photos or videos online.

The insurance coverage, provided by ACE Seguros, will allow you to seek care for minor injuries and illnesses. Should you need it, the insurance even covers emergency heart surgery at approved city hospitals.

You can find details about the program on the city’s tourism web page, which can be found here in English.

Community Connection:

Want to take Mayor Ebrard up on his offer and visit Mexico City? Check out my Green Guide to Mexico City and my top recommendations for nightlife in the Mexican capital. Have more questions? E-mail me at



About The Author

Julie Schwietert

Julie Schwietert Collazo is a writer, editor, researcher, and translator currently in New York, formerly of Mexico City and San Juan.

  • Sarah

    Wow! This is brilliant. Makes me psyched to go back to Mexico. Someday, Julie, we’re going to meet up for cafe con leche in some Mexico City cafe and I’m going to pick your brain about all the ins and outs of the place…

  • Luke Nye

    This is really cool. It shows that one politician can really change a city. I wish more of the politicians would do things like this. Obama is trying to take on healthcare but most of congress is so deep in healthcare’s pocket that it looks unlikely to happen anytime soon. Maybe next time i’m sick I’ll just check into a hotel in mexico city.

  • Julie Schwietert

    Ha, not a bad idea, Luke! :)
    And Sarah- I’m so ready to take you up on that!

  • Michelle

    That’s really cool- great idea!

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