Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto told the Tianguis Turistico audience that he hopes Mexico can be among the top five favorite destinations in the world. // © 2017 Mexico Tourism Board
Feature image (above): The opening ceremony of Tianguis Turistico, which took place in Acapulco // © 2017 Mexico Tourism Board
Tianguis Turistico, Mexico’s largest tourism conference, never fails to be the place for the industry’s biggest movers and shakers to network, do business and share their latest news. And this year’s gathering was no exception.
For the 42nd edition, Tianguis returned to its original home in the city of Acapulco, at the Expo Mundo Imperial convention and expo center. According to the Mexico Tourism Board’s estimates, nearly 1,000 companies from 87 nations participated, and more than 31,000 business meetings took place.
At the opening ceremony, Enrique Pena Nieto, president of Mexico, shared that 35 million international travelers visited Mexico in 2016 — nearly a 50 percent increase over 2012.
“I hope that soon, we will be among the top five favorite destinations in the world,” he said. “The government is simply one source of support and facilitation so that historic, record numbers can be achieved.”
The event was not without political statements — especially during a speech made by Taleb D. Rifai, secretary-general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
“You are on the south side of the divide,” he told Mexican delegates, in reference to recent cross-border tension created by statements made by the current U.S. administration. “But let no one tell you otherwise: You are on the right side of history.”
Below are some of the travel and tourism news to come from this year’s Tianguis.
Host-city Acapulco touted a number of developments, including the construction of a brand-new airport terminal, renovation of the Crowne Plaza Acapulco and this year’s debut of Xtasea, which is billed as some of the longest overwater ziplines in the world.
Grupo Lomas Travel
Grupo Lomas Travel, a tourism company based in Cancun, plans to invest $165 million in five hotels in Huatulco over a five-year time frame, according to a statement by Fonatur, the national tourism development fund.
Lagos de Moreno
Lagos de Moreno, a town that is part of the Mexico Tourism Board’s “Pueblo Magico” program in the state of Jalisco, is to debut a new-construction, 100-room Best Western Glo property next year. In the Copper Canyon town of Creel, meanwhile, the Best Western The Lodge at Creel Hotel & Spa this year was upgraded to the Best Western Plus designation.
Los Cabos will add around 5,000 hotel rooms by 2020, according to the Los Cabos Tourism Board. New properties include the 60-room Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, 304-room Grand Velas Los Cabos, 450-room Krystal Grand Los Cabos, 373-room Le Blanc Spa Resort and 128-room Solaz, a Luxury Collection hotel. In addition, the tourism office reported that arrivals jumped almost 19 percent in February, compared to the same period in the previous year.
Original Group, which specializes in adults-only resort hotels, is expanding its scope with the introduction of Desire Cruises, a couples-only, clothing-optional cruise product that ties in with the company’s Desire Riviera Maya and Desire Riviera Maya Pearl properties. While the hotels are located in Mexico, the first cruises are to depart from Venice in September 2017 and Barcelona in April 2018. In addition, Temptation Cancun Resort, the adults-only, “topless optional” property, is to reopen in August, following a multimillion-dollar renovation.
Palace Resorts recently reopened The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun, following a $450-million upgrade to the property.
Posadas, which operates brands including Fiesta Americana, Live Aqua and Fiesta Inn, aims to have some 300 hotels in its portfolio by the year 2020. Among the new properties are Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende, which is to open in early 2018, and Grand Fiesta Americana Acapulco Diamante, which will have about 428 rooms and will sit adjacent to Acapulco’s upscale La Isla shopping center in Acapulco. In addition, Posadas spent about half a million dollars this year to make a larger beach at the Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta by creating a marine rock to reduce sand erosion.
In Puerto Vallarta, Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel & Romantic Getaway recently completed a $3.8 million renovation that has upgraded public areas as well as guestrooms. In addition, Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board has opened an Office of Gender Equality and initiated sensitivity training for local businesses, with the goal of further cementing the destination’s appeal with LGBTQ travelers.
Among the newest properties in Mexico’s Riviera Maya are the all-inclusive Hotel Unico and Live Aqua Boutique Resort Playa del Carmen. Karisma Hotels & Resorts, meanwhile, has debuted Palafitos – Overwater Bungalows at its Dorado Maroma property.
The Riviera Nayarit will debut the 250-room Fairmont Costa Canuva in 2018 and the 130-room Rosewood Mandarina in 2019. Also in the works is a Cirque du Soleil theme park, which is to open in 2019, and the 145-room One&Only Mandarina, for which an opening date has not yet been announced.