Puerto Vallarta, the location of this year’s Tianguis Turistico, unveiled a new logo. // © 2012 Kenneth Shapiro
Mexico’s annual tourism conference, the Tianguis Turistico, is a reliable source of travel news from south of the border, what with its many press conferences and announcements made by tourism officials, hoteliers and other suppliers. But this year’s gathering was even more newsworthy, thanks to one big change: the location.
Since its inception, Tianguis has been hosted annually by the city of Acapulco. But, in its 37th year, the event — which took place March 25-28 — moved to Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit, as part of a new strategy that will take the convention to a different destination in Mexico every year.
The new tactic is key to furthering the event’s goals, according to Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, who spoke at the inauguration. Calderon remarked that Tianguis has become a platform for business and a means to promote the commercialization of destinations, products and services.
“In order to continue with the success of the gathering, it is very relevant that, from this year on, Tianguis is becoming itinerant,” said Calderon.
According to official figures, changing the location this year resulted in an upswing in attendees.
“Today, we have the presence, for example, of exhibitors and buyers from more than 30 nations,” said Calderon. “This represents a 30 percent increase over the previous year in the international segment.”
More than 7,000 people participated in Tianguis this year, a major jump from last year’s attendance, which was around the 4,000 mark.
Tianguis is traditionally a popular time for Mexico’s biggest vacation destinations to tout their latest offerings, and the Puerto Vallarta Convention & Visitors Bureau made good use of its role as host to showcase the features of its convention center, where the trade show was located, as well as its refurbished downtown, where the waterfront Malecon was widened in November. The long stretch of roadway became an attractive pedestrian thoroughfare.
The Puerto Vallarta CVB also unveiled a brand-new logo, a colorful interpretation of the seahorse statue that is one of the city’s most-photographed public sculptures.
The Riviera Nayarit served as co-host of Tianguis 2012 and, in the nearby state of Nayarit, tourism officials unveiled plans to market three new tourism products aimed at diversifying the region’s appeal: Sierra del Nayar, a mountainous region dotted with indigenous settlements; Colonial Nayarit, which focuses on colonial-era destinations such as Tepic and Compostela; and Lagunas Encantadas, which includes three lagoons targeted at outdoor enthusiasts.
Additional destination news came from Mazatlan. Tourism officials announced plans to invest a record-breaking $11 million in promoting the destination this year. Officials also noted a seven percent increase over the last five years in the number of guestroom nights.
Even Acapulco, while no longer the permanent host of the Tianguis Turistico, managed to draw attention with its plans for a tourism revitalization campaign centered around the slogan “Remember Acapulco,” which will include public relations, digital and social media components to keep the destination in the minds of travelers.
Tianguis 2013 will take place in Puebla.