For doomsday theorists, Dec. 21, 2012 could mean the end of civilization, according to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar. But for some tour operators and property owners, the end of the world also means a chance to cash in on the apocalypse hype.
In the most prominent countries of the Mundo Maya – Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and parts of Honduras and El Salvador – the tourism industry is gearing up for a record year, with dozens of Maya-themed offerings designed to lure visitors.
As 2012 rolls ahead, hotels, tour companies and other travel vendors have rolled out all sorts of Maya-themed packages and itineraries, which vary from authentic to outrageous.
Source: Fox News
Can’t say this isn’t unexpected. People do enjoy visiting mystical places. Paranormal tourism is a growing market. But this story was interesting in an aspect I’d not seen before this:
In order to avoid perpetuating misconceptions about impending destruction, some tour operators have been careful to avoid references to “end of the world” or “apocalypse” in their marketing.
In fact, in Belize, the message has been repackaged as an event celebrating a “transition” in the Maya Calendar and the Tourism Board has recently come out with its latest brand: “Where Will You Be When The World Begins Anew Belize? Maya 2012.″
Well, look at that. Reasonable interpretation. That’s excellent. Visitors can get a more genuine (hopefully less hyped) experience and learn about the history and culture of the area.
Regardless, Mexico’s tourism agency expects to draw 52 million visitors to the five states richest in Maya heritage.