Archaeological authorities in Mexico say they were forced to remove cast members of a local reality show after they refused to wear masks or follow social distancing rules.
The incident occurred at the Mayan ruins of Uxmal, in Mexico, where the government of Yucatan had invited cast members of Mexico’s popular Acapulco Shore reality show (similar to America’s Jersey Shore), in a bid to encourage tourists to return to the attraction, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
However, the National Institute of Anthropology and History told the American news agency that the half-dozen cast members “were asked to leave, in compliance with health rules”.
According to AP, employees at the 1,000-year-old complex of Mayan temples, palaces, and pyramid platforms said the cast acted “immaturely” and refused to follow posted rules requiring face masks and social distancing.
Photos posted on social media allegedly showed them “clowning around” and posing in close contact atop one ancient structure.
However, Yucatan officials denied they paid the cast members, and acknowledged the visit was part of a promotional campaign.
Michelle Fridman, the Yucatan state tourism secretary, wrote in a tweet that “the influencers were not paid one single peso”.
“It also wasn’t some half-baked idea, but rather part of a strategy included in the plan for recovery from COVID, and if we carefully measure the impact, we estimate we got 200 million hits for a sector that urgently needs promotion,” Fridman said.
The news comes as the latest bungle for Mexico’s tourism promotion, after VisitMexico.com in August appeared with hilarious mistranslations of attractions, thought to have been caused by disputes over payments and control of the English-language version of the country’s tourism website.
Featured image source: iStock/sorincolac