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"Low" High Season?

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Post by BisbeeGal Sun Jan 14, 2024 5:00 pm

November and early December seemed to be much much slower than last year.  Of course the 2 weeks before and after Xmas were a madhouse, but in Ajijic Centro Spanish-speaking tourists who I believe were Mexicans, outnumbered folks who appeared to be from US or CAN.  And yes I know there's a danger in making those assumptions but I've been here since 2008 and spent the previous 5 years near the border in AZ.  

Yesterday I spoke with my regular Mexican driver and he told me that last year he and his crew were going to the airport multiple times a day (up to 5 or more), but this year it's averaging 1 or 2 a day; somedays, nada.  

Many popular restaurants in Ajijic Centro are surprisingly uncrowded at what I would deem peak eating hours.  Not every day, but generally a noticeably lighter tourist vibe this year.  

I know there was a huge amount of pent-up demand last winter for post-pandemic travel and Ajijic was slammed from end of October through spring.  

But this year seems even slower than high seasons before the pandemic.  I walk 2 or 3 times a day in Centro between the malecón and the carretera, taking different routes passing by restaurants, groceries, etc.  

The car traffic is bad all year round, so I don't use that as a barometer any longer.
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Post by Jreboll Sun Jan 14, 2024 6:03 pm

Could be an indicator of slowing economy. Others have made the same comments.

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Post by ferret Sun Jan 14, 2024 6:51 pm

Prices are up on everything from food to accommodation (including the sales price of houses) and the exchange rate is poor. Really bad combo.
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Post by CanuckBob Mon Jan 15, 2024 7:00 am

I agree with Ferret. This "super peso" that AMLO brags about isn't "super" for the domestic economy. It seems to be having an effect, not only on foreign tourism, but spending from the local expat community as well.

That being said, we are just as busy as ever at our B&B. I believe it may be because we are some of the least expensive accommodations in Ajijic Centro. Our neighboring competitors charge double, or more, of our nightly rate.

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Post by sm1mex Mon Jan 15, 2024 6:21 pm

We don’t eat out much because of high prices but if the restaurants need to raise their prices for their supplies they have to do it.

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Post by RoyD Mon Jan 15, 2024 9:58 pm

I have to tell you that prices are rising high here in the US. Lake Chapala is still a bargain compared to here.

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Post by mudgirl Mon Jan 15, 2024 10:50 pm

CanuckBob wrote:

That being said, we are just as busy as ever at our B&B. I believe it may be because we are some of the least expensive accommodations in Ajijic Centro. Our neighboring competitors charge double, or more, of our nightly rate.

I don't know if you ever read hosting forums, but hosts are always saying "low prices bring low quality guests". Maybe that's true in the US, but it certainly hasn't been my experience with my little budget-priced private room/bath for one- I get really lovely guests and this has been my busiest season ever.

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Post by mudgirl Tue Jan 16, 2024 1:08 am

RoyD wrote:I have to tell you that prices are rising high here in the US. Lake Chapala is still a bargain compared to here.

RoyD

And because prices are high in the US and Canada, tourism is down. When people NOB are having to pay more for utilities, rent, gas, food and everything else, fewer have $ to spend on a vacation. Even if they travel to somewhere relatively inexpensive, they still have to be able to afford the plane tickets, the travel insurance, and while they wouldn't be having to pay for food or gas back home, they still have utility bills to pay- it's not like you can turn the heat off in the dead of winter just because you're not at home. They might need to pay a house and/or pet sitter, too.

Post-pandemic people were stir-crazy and jumped to travel. They probably also had more $ to spend because they couldn't go out and do things during lockdowns, so weren't spending on entertainment, meals out, gas, or new clothes (maybe some Amazon orders for more pajamas). Many were working online from home, so still earning the same salary, but nowhere to spend it.

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Post by RoyD Tue Jan 16, 2024 6:07 am

Well said mudgirl. I agree with you totally.

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Post by CanuckBob Tue Jan 16, 2024 7:30 am

mudgirl wrote:
CanuckBob wrote:

That being said, we are just as busy as ever at our B&B. I believe it may be because we are some of the least expensive accommodations in Ajijic Centro. Our neighboring competitors charge double, or more, of our nightly rate.

I don't know if you ever read hosting forums, but hosts are always saying "low prices bring low quality guests". Maybe that's true in the US, but it certainly hasn't been my experience with my little budget-priced private room/bath for one- I get really lovely guests and this has been my busiest season ever.

Our guests are fabulous. About 60% of our year is filled with repeat customers. We have guests that are on their 5th or 6th go around.

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Post by dichosalocura Fri Jan 19, 2024 11:09 pm

I think many of them have finally discovered Chapala.  Chapala is full of them this season.

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Post by CanuckBob Sat Jan 20, 2024 7:08 am

Yes, Chapala is a lot less expensive than Ajijic. I think the bottom line is that all the higher priced businesses (restaurants, hotels, etc.) are suffering this season and the lower priced businesses are doing good.

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