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Like many destinations in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta’s tourism hit a few bumps in 2011, but what a difference a year makes. Puerto Vallarta’s successful Tianguis Turistico event last March put the destination in the spotlight. The city has also benefited from stylish construction throughout the city and a remodeling of its iconic malecon (boardwalk). According to the Mexican Ministry of Tourism, SECTUR, hotel occupancy for the first five months of 2012 was up by 19 percent in Puerto Vallarta, placing it among the most popular international destinations in Mexico. The rest of 2012 is also proving to be a success story for Puerto Vallarta.
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that it will return to Puerto Vallarta this year with four repositioning cruises and a total of 11 major arrivals from Norwegian Star, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Jewel.
Royal Caribbean International has also announced that it will call on Puerto Vallarta. The new Vision of the Seas will arrive in the Mexico Pacific (Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas) during the 2012-2013 winter season. Vision of the Seas offers 19 different itineraries in the Caribbean and the Panama Canal and is one of the newest and most powerful ships from the cruise travel brand, with a capacity of 2,000 passengers and 750 crew members.
Puerto Vallarta’s New Branding
Puerto Vallarta unveiled its new branding slogan and logo during Tianguis Turistico 2012. During the re-branding process, a study was carried out comparing Puerto Vallarta to similar destinations such as Acapulco, Cancun, Los Cabos, Costa Rica, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. The study highlighted Puerto Vallarta’s distinctive features, such as the traditional village, the physical setting combining sea and mountains, the gastronomic variety, the quality of service and the warmth of the local people. As a result, Puerto Vallarta's new slogan is “Puerto Vallarta, Live it more than once.” The study also showed that Puerto Vallarta’s logo should represent the destination’s culture, beliefs and colorful imagination. The image of the Seahorse was chosen as the icon that best identifies the destination.
The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board recently presented a new version of its official website. Some of the features of the upgraded and more user-friendly website include a new main slideshow which contains four rotating striking images that redirect to the main sections of the website. On the home page, the position of banner ads has been changed to allow more access and easier navigation. As part of the strategy to attract more visitors to Puerto Vallarta, a booking engine has also been added, allowing visitors to search and book hotels, flights and car rentals easily through Travelocity.com and BestDay.com.
Puerto Vallarta Safety
Last year, Thomas Dale & Associates (TDA), a global investigative and security firm, was hired by the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board to assess the security status of the city. TDA concluded that Puerto Vallarta was one of the safest tourist destinations for international and national tourists. TDA has now published a follow up report on the city that focuses primarily on potential and actual criminal vulnerability. The study found that Puerto Vallarta continues to be a popular destination for international travelers as well as for Mexican nationals. It also applauds the city of Puerto Vallarta for having twice the national standard of policemen (two per every 1,000 people). The study also noted the city’s Taxi Safe notification system, in which 150 businesses in and outside the tourist zone have signed up to participate to assist tourists. The renovations taking place in the destination’s malecon in the Historic District and the Ameri-Med, the city’s new multi-story medical facility, were also noted in the assessment. TDA found that Puerto Vallarta continues to be one of the safest destinations for international visitors as well as for expatriates who have made the destination their home.