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The park is inspired by Maya culture.

Jess McHugh
September 19, 2017

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced that a new theme park, inspired by the country's famous Maya culture ,could open as early as November 2018.

The park will be named Amikoo, which means friend in the Mayan language, and it is expected to cost $840 million, Agence-France Presse reported. Rides and attractions will make reference to Maya characters and mythology, and the park will be appropriately situated along the Riviera Maya, on the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula.

The announcement for the park comes at a time when, under U.S. President Donald Trump, relations between the U.S. and Mexico have grown increasingly strained. Trump promised his supporters that he would construct a border wall along the southern U.S., and he has repeated that promise again and again, vowing that Mexico would pay for it.

Pena Nieto took aim at the U.S. in his announcement of the new park, saying: “We’re going to compete with other [parks] up there [in the United States], and I’m sure ours will be better,” according to the same AFP report.

Amikoo will include a hotel, wave pool, virtual tours of the region, a Maya museum, and a ride called "Pirates of Bacalar," among other attractions, CTV News reported.

Despite localized warnings of gang violence (such as the region of Quintana Roo, which includes popular tourist destinations such as Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum), tourism has remained a strong industry in Mexico, where some 35 million tourists generated $19.6 billion in revenue in 2016, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

The park could alone draw up to 4.5 million visitors every year, the AFP noted. 

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