In March at Tianguis Turistico in Acapulco, the Governor of
Nayarit, Ney Gonzalez, officially announced the Mexican
government’s latest tourism project, the Riviera Nayarit. The
government, working in conjunction with the Vallarta Nayarit Mexico
Convention and Visitors Bureau and Fonatur, the federal tourism
organization, has invested $1.5 billion over the last two years in
developing tourism facilities and infrastructure in this area. More
money from private investors is expected in the coming years.
The Riviera Nayarit will encompass Banderas Bay and stretch from
the Ameca River near Nuevo Vallarta 100 miles north along the
coastline to San Blas. It will include the resort areas of Punta
Mita and Litibu and will create and expand other areas. As its
logo, the destination will adopt the endangered sea turtle
decorated with the Huichol tribe’s craft. According to the Visitors
Bureau, by focusing on sustainable ecotourism, the Riviera Nayarit
will bring the area’s cultural and environmental treasures to the
forefront of Mexican tourism.
“A lot of people
identify the word ‘Riviera’ with golf, with spa, with luxury, among
other things, and we have that. We have five Four-Diamond resorts,
five-star hotels, great spas, great golf, a lot of nature and
wildlife,” said Richard Zarkin, supervisor of public relations at
the Vallarta Nayarit Mexico Convention and Visitors Bureau in an
exclusive interview with TravelAge West.
Once development is complete, travelers will be able to access
all the destinations in the area, including the virgin beaches
along the coast and the archaeological sites of the Aztecs in
Mexcaltitan. By the end of this year, the St. Regis Hotel and a new
Jack Nicklaus golf course at Punta Mita will be complete.
Development plans for the region include 30 more hotels, resulting
in 3,000 more rooms in Banderas Bay, 1,000 in Punta Mita, 2,000 in
Nuevo Vallarta and Flamingos and 3,800 in newly developed Litibu by
Besides the boutique hotels, plans for Litibu include a marina,
shopping centers, a Greg Norman golf course that opens in December
and a helipad. Plans for an airport and further resort development
at El Capomo, an area twice as large as Litibu, and a new marina
and resort at La Cruz de Huanacaxtle will come in the next
“We plan to make Riviera Nayarit a haven for luxury travel,
matchless golf and experiencing our protected ocean and mountain
nature and wildlife,” said Marc Murphy, director general of the
Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau.
To garner North American interest in the destination, Riviera
Nayarit is running an online contest called Treasures. Agents and
the public will try to name Riviera Nayarit’s newest activities and
attractions in order to win a five-day, four-night all-inclusive
trips to the new destination courtesy of Marival Resorts and
Suites. Entrees will accepted through Aug. 3, and winners will be
determined by Sept. 15.