The vehicle blockade by Uber drivers on Wednesday could have a more significant financial impact than anyone realizes.
What was the Uber blockade?
On Wednesday, March 9th, Uber drivers demonstrated and formed a blockade. They created the blockade in response to a supposed broken “truce” with Baja California Sur authorities. The “truce” was an agreement by the BCS authorities to let Uber drivers operate without being fined until Monday, March 14th.
Early on Wednesday morning, some videos began circulating of Uber drivers receiving tickets from inspectors. These inspectors did not know the temporary deal between BCS and the Uber drivers.
After Omar Torres, Director of Municipal Transport, heard about the tickets Uber drivers were receiving, he reached out to them and assured them they would forgive the tickets. He also assured drivers that any inspector not complying with the agreement between now and Monday could receive a suspension.
The blockade, which is viewable on social video networks, took place at specific points on the transpeninsular highway. The transpeninsular highway, which already has a reputation for traffic, had cars backed up by the dozens because of the blockade.
What is the tourism sector saying about this?
Mauricio Perez Salicrup, the president of the Board of Directors of the Association of Hotels, commented on the Uber blockade situation. He said damage to the sector is being measured and implored a solution from the state of congress.
More specifically, Salicrup stated, “We are still seeing what the effect will be. Some tourists got backed up in the traffic jam and missed their flights. Obviously, this situation leans responsibility towards the destination because the situation was avoidable. The losses generated locally were the important thing.”
They also stressed this is not the first time problems with the tourist corridor of Los Cabos have come up. There are seeing results in exit questionnaires sent to tourists.
According to officials, the concern is what incidents like this cause in the confidence of tourists visiting Los Cabos? Several problems are being levied at Los Cabos, and if those concerns build up, what is the reaction in terms of tourists’ desire to visit the area?
Perez Salicrup clarified they should pay attention to finding the solution. He believes this is stalled in the Congress of Baja California Sur, particularly in the mobility law, which is no longer current. The law must be modernized and needs to address all the transportation issues, so these problems do not arise again.
Why is this a pressing issue for Los Cabos
Tourists and citizens have been complaining about an outdated transportation system for years. There are not enough options for people to get around, and the issue with Uber drivers is magnifying that.
Los Cabos’s economic engine is the tourism sector. Its businesses and citizens are affected by tourism dollars in their everyday life. Negative press or a bad reputation because of transportation issues, could have far-reaching implications for Los Cabos.
If tourists see the struggles that the area is having with the mobility of their guests, they may be inclined to vacation elsewhere. Los Cabos losing its appeal as a go-to destination would hurt its citizens significantly.
For tourists themselves, this issue is already hampering their idea of Los Cabos as a tourist destination. Not being able to get from point A to point B can hinder the quality of a vacation. Missing flights because they cannot get to the airport, can leave a negative impression as the last memory of Los Cabos.