Tianguis Turistico has taken place in Acapulco for 36 consecutive years. Next year, the show will go mobile. // © 2011 SECTUR
Acapulco has been hosting Mexico’s travel trade show, Tianguis Turistico, since 1976, when tourism first became a government priority. A magnet for celebrities, jetsetters and political honchos with handsome villas on the hills above the bay, Acapulco was one of Mexico’s most profitable destinations.
Back then, few hotels dotted the coastlines in Cancun and Los Cabos, destinations that boast brand-new government-sponsored tourism developments. Today, however, Acapulco is losing one of its most profitable tourism events. At the completion of Tianguis Turistico 2011, held March 25-28, Minister of Tourism Gloria Guevara announced that Tianguis will become a traveling trade show, moving to venues around the country. As of press time, Cancun and Los Cabos are major contenders for the 2012 show.
Other significant declarations were scattered throughout the show. Cuervo and Corona still plied their products, and a few of the 500 suppliers brought in dancers, bands and beauty stars in bikinis. However, there seemed to be fewer buyers. At press time, official numbers have yet to be announced.
Guevara said that more than 20 countries were represented and 100 new buyers were among the mix. Several destinations and suppliers announced major changes and plans, including the following:Year of Tourism
In his opening address, President Felipe Calderon spoke about his administration’s commitment to tourism. The federal government spent $4 million to support the tourism sector in 2010, and Guevara announced Mexico’s drive to become one of the world’s top-five destinations (it’s in the top 10 now). Initiatives to increase several types of tourism, including medical and cultural tourism, are in the works. Romance travel is receiving special attention, since Mexico hosted nearly 2 million weddings in 2010.Major Events
Mexico is hosting several major international gatherings. The Adventure Travel World Summit will be held in Chiapas Oct. 17-20. Mexico City will host the International Tourism Fair of the Americas (FITA) from Sept. 22 to 25 and the Green Expo from Sept. 27 to 29. Guadalajara is the official site for the 2011 Pan American Games in October 2011, and the G-20 Summit will be held in Mexico in 2012.Fonatur’s New Developments
Fonatur, the federal government’s tourism development arm, announced an agreement with the Presidente InterContinental Cozumel Resort & Spa to complete Marina Cozumel. The 300-slip marina will include residences, restaurants and other amenities, making it the island’s newest attraction. Meanwhile, the Presidente will host several events in 2011, including the upcoming Third Annual Cozumel Island Golf Tournament May 13-14.
Fonatur is also moving ahead with its Escuinapa-Teacapan development on the coast of Sinaloa south of Mazatlan. The project, covering nearly 5,000 acres, is similar to the nearby Riviera Nayarit and will include hotels and residential communities.
Private Sector Initiatives
Luxury haciendas and eco-tourism retreats have come together to create Premium Yucatan, a new group providing unique experiences in the Yucatan region. Members include Amigo Yucatan, one of the region’s best tour operators, the luxurious, serene Hacienda Xcanatun and Hotel Eco Paraiso in the Celestun Biosphere reserve.
AMResorts — whose brand lineup includes Zoetry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets, Dreams and Now Resorts & Spas — is relaunching the Sunscape Resorts & Spas brand with the debut of the Sunscape Dorado Pacifico Ixtapa in November. This summer, the opening of the 399-suite Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa will mark the brand’s debut on Mexico’s Pacific coast. In addition, AMResorts has two developments under way in Puerto Vallarta, Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta and Now Amber Puerto Vallarta, both set to open in 2012.Airline News
Aeromexico is investing $1.3 billion dollars to purchase 20 new planes, update its facilities at the Mexico City airport and improve customer service. In April, the airline will begin operating daily flights between Guadalajara and Fresno, Calif.
Volaris airlines announced flights between Los Angeles, Monterrey, Oakland, Calif., and Mexico City.
Aviacsa will resume flying within Mexico on May 2, 2011.
Air France is launching nonstop service between Paris and Cancun three times a week starting Oct. 21.