Tianguis Expects Big Crowds

The annual tourism trade show is expected to be bigger than ever

By: Lisa Jennings

Mexico’s largest tourism trade fair, an event that is expected to draw hundreds of international tour operators, travel agents and other industry professionals, is scheduled for April 18-21 in Acapulco.

The 29th annual Tianguis Turistico Mexico 2004, to be held at the Acapulco International Center, is expected to draw more than 750 exhibitors -- a larger turnout than the 680 exhibitors at last year’s event, which was held 10 days after the launch of war in Iraq. Despite the timing, last year’s Tianguis drew more than 1,180 buyers from 19 countries.

“This year, we are making intense promotional Tianguis efforts in Asia and even some parts of Africa, although we recognize that North America is our most important market,” said Eduardo Chaillo, director of Tourism Tianguis.

The term “tianguis” comes from the Aztec word “tianquiztli,” meaning marketplace. The show is a unique opportunity for U.S. travel agents to learn more about Mexico’s vast array of tourism products and services.

“The Tourism Tianguis is the event that closes the business circle that begins with promotion,” said Francisco Ortiz, chief executive officer of the Mexico Tourism Board. “For that reason, we are striving to attract buyers of diverse market segments and geographical areas to the show in order to generate new and better business opportunities for Mexican tourism service providers.”

Organized by Mexico’s Tourism Secretariat and the Mexican Tourism Board, the event will feature seminars on destinations and suppliers, and a conference series called “Exploring Mexico” about specific attractions. Registrants can make one-on-one appointments with exhibitors, and participate in a number of networking events and festivities highlighting Mexico’s rich and diverse culture.

Special appearances are expected by Mexican President Vincente Fox and former Prime Minister of Spain Felipe Gonzalez.

“The 29th annual Tourism Tianguis trade show will be the springboard for growth, not only for well-established tourism products, such as beach resorts, but also for up-and-coming tourism segments, such as adventure and cultural tourism, as well as attractions targeting such specific markets as honeymooners and seniors,” said Rodolfo Elizondo, Mexico’s tourism secretary.