Rodolfo Lopez Negrete Coppel, CEO of Mexico Tourism Board // © 2015 Los Cabos Tourism Board
Feature image (above): It has been a record-breaking year for tourism in Los Cabos. // © 2015 Los Cabos Tourism Board
Los Cabos Tourism Board recently held its ninth annual VIP Summit, a little more than one year after much of the destination’s tourism industry was devastated by Hurricane Odile.
Approximately 100 attendees took part in the four-day event, which ran from Nov. 18-22, representing 44 principal partners of the tourism board, including airlines, hoteliers and travel agencies, among others. This year, attendees hailed from Brazil, the U.K., Australia and Russia, in addition to the U.S. and Mexico.
Although much has changed in Los Cabos over the past year, the event celebrated the regrowth of the destination and looked ahead to future projects and destination news.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” said Rodolfo Lopez Negrete Coppel, CEO of Mexico Tourism Board, at the event’s kickoff “white party” held Nov. 18 at The Cape, a Thompson Hotel. “This is a very special type of destination. As a whole, Mexico is experiencing solid and sustained growth. Investors have to be confident that tourism will continue to propel, and right now it is growing twice as fast as the tourism industry in the rest of the world.”
Although the bed count hovered around 800 when the hurricane struck, as many properties closed their doors for renovations, that figure has since jumped to some 14,000, with plans for 13 new hotels to open by the end of 2017. Between 2012 and 2015, tourism revenue was 22.6 percent, a record year for the destination, and a “very robust period of growth,” according to Lopez Negrete Coppel.
“We are here for the long haul,” he said. “It was not an accidental year.”
Additionally, Ruben Reachi, CEO and director general of Los Cabos Tourism Board, announced at the summit that the destination will host its first tennis tournament with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) in 2016.
“In August, we will have an extraordinary sporting event with this tennis match,” Reachi said. “Los Cabos will officially have the ATP tournament. It will be the first tennis tournament in Los Cabos, and we are so proud of that.”
During the summit, attendees had the opportunity to network through one-on-one appointments during a two-day expo or attend site inspections for various properties, such as The Resort at Pedregal, the brand-new JW Marriott Los Cabos, One&Only Palmilla and more.
There was also plenty of time for celebration during after-hours parties at The Cape, AM Resorts’ Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort & Spa and Club Campestre in San Jose Del Cabo.
“We are very proud of our destination,” said Reachi, who addressed the audience during the farewell gala on Nov. 20. “It’s been a record year for us after the hurricane. Thank you, all of you, because it’s a result of your airports and your trust in Los Cabos. The airlines, agents and more — thank you for your trust in Los Cabos.”