The tourism industry is fuming with the temporary shut down. Hotels and hostels nearby had been expected to house around 15,000 people just before Christmas. Tourism is the main source of revenue in the region.
Forget about all that money now, says Gabriel Schiaffino, head of the Capilla del Monte tourism association, who said he was puzzled by word of the mass suicide.
The hotel occupancy rate is now about 1,000 people “but we don’t think anyone else will come, which is awful news,” he said.
Is there is a silver lining anywhere? Yes.
Associations of people who like to meditate have appealed for a gathering on December 21 in Capilla del Monte itself to mark the beginning of the new era, as per the mainstream, upbeat reading of the Mayan calendar.
“A lot of people mistake the day for the apocalypse,” said Machenka Jacobella, one of the organizers.