Beyond the ambitious Mayan Train, the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur) has a variety of assets and activities to carry out, such as the maintenance of the Comprehensively Planned Center of cancunthe tourist jewel of the country.
For pragmatic reasons, it has left some operations in the hands of experts from the private sector.
One of the properties that came to his portfolio is the beautiful Former Convent of Santa Catalina de Sienalocated in the city of Oaxaca, founded by Bishop Fray Bernardino de Alburquerque, in 1568, with the name of Monastery of Rosario de María.
Among the stories told by the local Ministry of Tourism are: as a result of the exclaustration of nuns, decreed by the Reform Laws in 1862, the convent served as a prison, and what was the temple and atrium was transformed into the Municipal Palace. Later, the temple was used as a cinema and a part was used as a school.
Over the years, in 1976, the property became the Hotel Presidente and since 1995 (according to information from Grupo Imagen) it has been operated by royal road o Grupo Real Turismo (the hotel division of Grupo Empresarial Ángeles), which currently has “40 hotels, totaling more than 6,885 rooms in 27 destinations located in the cities, the most coveted beaches in Mexico and one in El Paso, Texas, United States”.
And Camino Real continues to operate the hotel because last April 1, a contract was renewed (with an expiration date of March 31, 2026) for the provision of administration, operation and technical assistance services, under the European plan system, in the property owned by Nacional Financiera, as trustee of the Fonatur.
It is expected that each year the operation of the hotel company will generate cash flows favorable to the fund for 35.6 million pesos.
The previous contract was extended a few months, because its validity was from April 1, 2017 to December 31, 2021.
The commercial name of the former convent is, since November 5, 2021, Quinta Real Oaxaca and offers four types of rooms, a swimming pool, a convention area, a gym, bars (in one of them a menu of 101 varieties of mezcal is promised) and a restaurant.
To date, it is publicly known that Grupo Posadas made an economic proposal to the fund last year to obtain the contract that was about to expire, but it was unsuccessful.
The Fonatur considered that, in the event that a new hotel company operated the property, an additional cost of 4.5 million pesos would be generated, 68% of it for compensation of management personnel (general director and controller).
In addition, it would require “a transition period during which the hotel’s operations, including service levels, rates and occupancy, could suffer adverse effects, as well as the attention to the requirements of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) for maintenance and repair of facilities, without considering the implicit cost (time) represented by obtaining a permit granted by this institution, where Camino Real Hotels has presented its accreditation”.
That is, there were no conditions to change the operation.
With the joy generated by the renewal of the contract, a 4T official told It’s tourism! that Camino Real wants to break the news in the next Acapulco Tourist Marketwhich Javier May Rodríguez will attend as director of the Fonatur, who, by the way, has been very active in recent hours uploading photos on his Facebook profile of his tours (together with businessman Daniel Chávez) through the construction zone of the ambitious Mayan train.