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The Los Cabos Convention & Visitors Bureau epitomizes the wisdom of Satchel Paige’s famous observation, “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” Instead of looking back, the Los Cabos CVB embraces the future, whether it is creating a new mobile phone guide for the destination, putting itself in front of potential visitors with social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, or tweaking market expectations by adding value to the luxury equation.
TravelAge West caught up with Renato Mendonca, vice president of marketing at the Los Cabos CVB, to get his insight on what is behind these bursts of proactive initiatives.
“Los Cabos is considered a luxury travel destination by many, but one of the most important initiatives for the Los Cabos CVB this past year has been to highlight and promote the tremendous value of Los Cabos,” said Mendonca. “What separates Los Cabos from other high-end destinations is our commitment to offering visitors an unparalleled vacation experience at an unmatched value.”
The Los Cabos CVB recently launched a downloadable Los Cabos Mobile Guide for mobile phone devices. The guide provides travelers with instant information on accommodations, entertainment, local culture, contact information for all tour operators as well as updates on promotions and local events throughout the destination.
“The Los Cabos Mobile Guide highlights one of the ways that the destination is changing in order to successfully spread content and messages to the public in the rapidly changing tourism industry,” said Mendonca. “I do believe that the Mobile Guide will improve the experience for visitors to Los Cabos as well as benefit the destination by encouraging collaboration with the tourism service providers and other travel partners.”
In the same vein as creating the Los Cabos Mobile Guide, the Los Cabos CVB has excelled in using social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. “Utilizing social media to promote our destination is very important. It is a direct way to reach and engage consumers,” said Mendonca. “It also proves to be an interesting way to distribute information beyond a traditional press release or company website.”
Lots in Los CabosIn the last year, a broad brush has been used to paint Mexico as an unsafe destination. Unfortunately, however, Los Cabos has had to endure a “guilt by association” effect.
“Los Cabos is physically separated from mainland Mexico by the Sea of Cortez and it remains isolated from the affects of violent crime occurring elsewhere in Mexico,” said Mendonca. “In fact, our destination provides vacationers with a highly sought after sense of ‘island-like’ sanctuary.”
The Los Cabos CVB has the research to back up its claims of safety. Mendonca pointed to the newly released results of a two-year-long study conducted by the Institute of Higher Studies of Monterrey. The study evaluated tourism offerings throughout Mexico’s 31 states and Federal istrict. Baja California Sur ranked third in the categories of public safety, tourism services and transportation infrastructure. Baja California Sur also ranked first in natural resources, environmental protection and garnered an overall guest-satisfaction index of 97.
If agents turned their attention away from Los Cabos for even a brief span of time, they missed a number of impressive new developments spanning the sea and air.
“We are thrilled to welcome the new flights from Charlotte, N.C., with US Airways and from Kansas City, Mo., with Frontier Airlines,” said Mendonca. “Of course, we always welcome increased airlift; for example, we hope to increase flights from the Midwest and Northeast regions, allowing travelers in those regions to have easier access.”
Beginning this December, Carnival Cruise Lines will introduce two Mexico itineraries that include Los Cabos. The Carnival Spirit will depart from San Diego and offer passengers a five- or nine-day Mexican Riviera itinerary with two-day stops scheduled in Cabo San Lucas. The new itineraries will sail from Dec. 10 through April 11. These calles in Los Cabos were added after passengers made it clear that it was a must-see destination for them.“Although Los Cabos is not a homeport, such as Puerto Vallarta or Mazatlan, we are pleased that Carnival Cruise Lines will be launching a two-day stop at Land’s End this year and feel that it will allow travelers more time to truly experience all of the wonderful attractions and activities available for them here,” said Mendonca. “A few hours in Los Cabos are not nearly enough time, and I think an overnight stay will be beneficial to both the passengers and the businesses in Los Cabos, especially around the Cabo San Lucas Marina.”