Mexico City denies 007 film killed businesses

Mexico City denies 007 film killed businesses

MEXICO CITY - Mexico City's government denied on Thursday that local businesses were hurt when James Bond descended on the capital to film scenes for the next 007 movie in the historic centre.

The local small business chamber of commerce, Canacope, complained this week that the closure of streets causes total losses of US$24.6 million (S$33.5 million) to some 6,600 shops.

But the city government countered that the filming of "Spectre" between March 19-April 1 had increased the number of visitors to the historic centre by 53 per cent, with hotel occupancy rising 30 per cent.

"We can affirm that the event did not affect but improved commercial conditions for businesses in the capital's centre," it said in a statement.

Producers agreed to pay 255 businesses some US$2,500 per day they had to close, it said.

It was the latest controversy surrounding the movie's filming after reports that the country's government asked for changes to the script to ensure the film's villain would not be Mexican in return for millions in tax breaks, an allegation that producers denied.

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