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Good News Mexico's Tourism Industry

Mexico News Daily | Friday, January 15, 2016
Travel awards announced as Mexico gears up for another year of growth. The new year is shaping up to be another very successful one for the tourist industry in Mexico.

The first piece of good news was the official announcement of record visitors to the Caribbean city of Cancún, and México City topping the New York Times’ list of 52 places to visit in 2016. The good news haven’t stopped coming since.

Last September, Tulum, in the state of Quintana Roo, was designated a Magic Town by the Tourism Secretariat, giving it access to funds to improve infrastructure. Known for its “untouched” status, Tulum has now been named the world’s No. 1 destination on the rise for 2016 by travel website company TripAdvisor.

Another city that has received international praise is Guadalajara: it was designated by Travel + Leisure magazine as the second best place to travel in 2016. Among its qualities, the publication said the city is a “hotbed of creativity thanks to an ebullient jazz scene, the popular Guadalajara International Book Fair, a prestigious film festival and a well-supported community of visual arts.”

On the Pacific coast, the Riviera Nayarit is an emerging destination for tourists looking for high standards of excellence, and a recently won Travvy Award is proof of that.

The destination took home the gold statue for “Best Luxury Destination: México,” recognition that was well received by the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).

“It’s very important to kick off the New Year with something like this to keep us top of mind with consumers,” said Marc Murphy, managing director of the CVB, who added that the voting for the awards is done by travel agents, who are the ones who recommend and sell the tourism destinations.

“This achievement is a result of all the work we’ve done to position ourselves as a luxury destination,” added Murphy. “There’s no doubt the backing of the state government has been key.”

The Riviera Maya took home the silver and Los Cabos the bronze in the same category, while Mexico as a country won the gold Travvy Award in the category of “Best Luxury Destination.”

Due to last year’s strong performance, Mexico could achieve its highest ranking ever on the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) list of countries with the most visitors.

In 2013, Mexico was No. 15. One year later, the country reached number 10. For 2015 it could be battling Russia and Thailand for ninth place.

According to data compiled by Anáhuac University, about 32.1 million international tourists visited Mexico during 2015, indicating that the country is a strong contender for landing once again in the top 10. UNWTO’s final figures will be announced next May.

Tourism officials are expecting 10% growth this year, pushing the total to over 35 million.

Mexico will be getting some help from the Canadian entertainment company Cirque du Soleil. A new touring big-top show called Luzia and inspired by Mexican culture opens in Montreal in April and will tour Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

But the strongest market for tourism in Mexico is still the domestic one. Last year, 80 million Mexicans traveled within the country, representing 80% of tourism-generated GDP.

The Tourism Secretariat considers the consolidation of domestic tourism in 2016 as one of its main challenges, and is preparing a promotional program to further stimulate the market.

Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid said that the program seeks to attract Mexicans to destinations during the low seasons with attractive package deals, focusing on destinations with the most potential, like Huatulco in Oaxaca, Loreto in Baja California Sur and Ixtapa in Guerrero. Also in Guerrero, a re-launching project is planned for the port of Acapulco.

De la Madrid said that the Tourism Secretariat is working with hotels, airlines and bus lines in order to offer the best possible deals with the intention of keeping seats and rooms full during the low season.

The secretary discounted violence as an issue, saying that most destinations are safe and able to receive both nationals and foreigners, including Acapulco, which reported occupancy rates of 95% during the Christmas season.

Source: Mexico News Daily Jan 17, 2016

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