G20: It’s time
About a year ago, a friend of mine in the tourism bureau told me all about the preparations under way for the G20 Summit, a gathering of the top 20 heads of state from around the world here in Los Cabos.
There was a lot of work to do at the time.
There were pieces of the infrastructure–from road repairs to sewer line replacements–that had to be taken care of. There was a renovation of the San Jose del Cabo historic downtown. And, oh, yeah, there was a convention center to build. When I spoke with my friend, they hadn’t even turned the first shovel of dirt yet.
If you have been through town, you have seen a very cool icon put up in the roundabout from the airport–the first thing the visiting
dignitaries will see when they hit town. You have seen new street lights, construction crews fixing the sewer and water lines, and those
artisans who replaced the road through the Art District. And, yeah, up on the hill, we have a very cool new convention center where, in a couple of days, dignitaries from Barack Obama to Vladimir Putin will meet to fix the world’s economic woes.
We’ve had to endure a few hardships along the way.
There were road closures, lane closures in town and along the Transpeninsular Highway, and the hum of activity as workers hand-laid the beautiful road through the Art District. We are also seeing a huge security presence as Federales set up checkpoints along our streets and highways and military patrols from here to there and back again. We have part of the naval fleet anchored off our coastline and the aerial patrols have begun. Now, the thing is, no matter where these heads of state gathered, there would be a huge security presence, this isn’t just something put in place in Los Cabos.
Some of the people who will take part in this summit are already here, others are preparing to travel here. By the time it’s all over, as many as 10,000 visitors could arrive. That’s a lot of company.
What this does is boost the local economy in both the long and short term.
The preparations alone created a ton of jobs. Those dignitaries will also spend money in our shops and restaurants. They will pay for hotel rooms, rent cars, and add to the economy in many ways. Long-term benefits? The key benefit is that this summit should help erase a good deal of the Los Cabos image. Our region has been unfairly lumped in with the violence and problems along the border. That stuff just doesn’t happen here. As many of the people I have interviewed over the course of the past year have told me, perhaps if some of the members of the media actually touched ground in Los Cabos, they would see what it is really like, that it is calm, peaceful, serene, inviting, warm, comfortable, safe.
I hope so.
So to our visitors? Bienvenidos…Welcome to Los Cabos…Enjoy your stay here.
And, to the locals?
We have all received tremendous benefits as a result of the G20 deciding to come here for its 2012 meeting. There may have been a few frustrations along the way, but, it was all worth it.
Ed Kociela is a writer for Los Cabos Magazine. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/EdKociela.