The Mexican ports on the Pacific Riviera face a general decline in competitiveness because of their outdated infrastructure, except for four ports that maintain the vitality of the route, including Puerto Vallarta. According to Arturo Musi Ganem, the president of the Mexican Association of Companies for the Attention of Tourist Cruises (Amepact), only four out of the 17 ports on the Mexican Pacific coast receive 90 percent of the cruise passengers due to the limited and outdated infrastructure of the remaining ports. Most terminals on the country’s coast need more basic infrastructure for the reception of cruise ships and for lodging and entertainment. This is causing a loss of competitiveness for Mexico compared to other nations and slowing the growth of cruise passenger entries.
The current administration has brought about significant changes in Mexican port management. Previously, they were under the Ministry of Communications and Transportation or owned by private entities or Fonatur. Now, they are under the Navy's management, which has introduced a distinct style of administration. However, the focus on promoting and developing these ports has taken a backseat.
Mexico's cruise industry has grown at a rate of 10 to 20 percent in recent years. But, if there were better infrastructure, the growth could increase to 30 to 40 percent. As the tourism industry experiences open growth, this segment has much-untapped potential.
According to experts, national ports are receiving fewer ships or cannot accommodate large ships due to outdated infrastructure. For instance, in Puerto Vallarta, only three cruise ships can dock because of limited space, and the largest ones cannot dock due to size. Musi attributed the growth in ship arrivals to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in various countries. However, to remain competitive, ports need more infrastructure, but the federal government needs to allocate more resources for major works.