The COVID-19 pandemic helped uncover the susceptibility of Cozumel Mexico’s cruise ship-dependent economy. This stresses the need to further expand Cozumel’s economy, develop more housing and use the Scuba Diving/Snorkeling industry better. A down economy over the recent 2 years points to an economy that is not repairing itself. Relying on just one industry for inhabitants’ incomes is an unsound proposal.
Many people are not getting their usual income and this has created a mass migration of people to find new ways to make money. This situation will not correct itself overnight, but with sound planning, they can manage it.
Cozumel, like many other cruise ship resorts, is very susceptible to economic changes in the U.S. economy. Cozumel needs to diversify its economy by developing land-based activities and tourism besides cruising but it will still feel the impact if there is a prolonged economic downturn in the U.S. It must be stressed that Cozumel’s economy is ship-dependent and losing a single cruise ship will cause a drastic drop in its economy. In 2007, before the great recession hit, Cozumel had an unemployment rate of only 2.9%. When the great recession hit in 2008, this number skyrocketed to 3.4%.
A big difference between Cozumel’s economic situation and that of places like Cancun and Puerto Vallarta is that Cozumel does not have a single primary industry that could serve as an alternative for the people in case of an economic downturn. Cozumel Mexico is the second-largest cruise ship port in Latin America, with many cruise ships calling at the port daily. The cruise ship industry is very important to the economy of Cozumel, Mexico. Its high-profit margin can characterize the cruise ship industry in Cozumel, very low unemployment rate (only 3.9% in the most recent available data), and high disposable income per capita compared to other cities in the Caribbean and Mexico. In fact, this income is comparable to that of some cities in California. However, the cruise ship industry is not immune to the U.S. economy. In 2010, the year the last of the cruise ships calling in Cozumel departed for home, the U.S. economy entered a prolonged economic recession. In response to this economic downturn, the cruise industry in Cozumel declined.
This means that if there is a major drop in the economy, this would be felt throughout the entire island. In order to have a stable economy, Cozumel must work with the government to develop more housing so that its inhabitants do not have to rely on their cruise ship jobs to make money. Since Cozumel is very susceptible to economic changes in the U.S. economy, it is also susceptible to coronavirus. This has made the island’s people become a lot more aware of the need to prepare for any future economic changes and how to survive them.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also helped expose the fragility of the Cozumel economy and will force the island’s residents to prepare for any future economic changes by having adequate supplies of food and other necessities. The island must take into account that it is located close to both the U.S. and Canadian borders. A drop in the economy in the U.S. could cause a significant drop in the economy of Cozumel and this could lead to a drop in the tourism industry. This means that Cozumel should work with the government to ensure that there are adequate supplies of food for all its inhabitants.
Written by Stingray Villa Cozumel.