With the slogan “Death to the Taco Bar,” Destination Ventures has
revamped the annual Mexico Travel Market events, which this year
will be offered in 12 cities throughout the United States and
The traditional buffet taco bar at the series of evening events
has been replaced by a sit-down dinner, which organizer Greg Custer
hopes will “enhance the interaction between suppliers and
Dinner will be preceded by a networking reception, with hosted
bar and live music to increase one-on-one time with suppliers.
“We felt the industry was calling out for something more
meaningful,” said Custer, who is vice president of Destination
Ventures based in Bend, Ore.
This year the Suppliers Showcase will include short
presentations by suppliers aimed directly to the audience as a
whole, he added.
The events will also include two destination seminars sponsored
by the Puerto Vallarta Convention and Visitors Bureau and the
Riviera Maya Tourism Board.
“The days of just picking up brochures have gone the way of
printed air tickets,” said Custer.
Destination Ventures will also do a profile of attendees. A
pre-event questionnaire will ask agents about their agencies, their
experience selling Mexico and their particular areas of interest.
The latter will be included on attendees name tags so suppliers can
tailor the information they offer to specific interests.
Enrollment guidelines have also changed. This year there is a
$10 registration fee. Attendees must demonstrate membership in an
industry organization and no more than four agents from one agency
Prizes are promised, but “no T-shirts or duffle bags.”
Airline sponsors of the event include Aeromexico, Mexicana,
Alaska Airlines and Frontier Airlines. A wide range of hotels and
tour operators will also be participating, as well as the Mexico
Destination Ventures has also launched a new online course on
Travel Impressions and Occidental Hotels Mexico products
(www.tioh.coursehost.com). The Web site includes eight courses on
six destination areas, and more e-learning courses are planned down
the road, said Custer.