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Whenever a destination hosts Tianguis Turistico, Mexico’s largest tourism convention, plenty of attention is focused on what’s new in the host city. And this year was no different, as Acapulco touted a variety of new projects during the massive event, which took place in April. From improved infrastructure to revamped hotels and new attractions, Mexico’s original jet-set vacation hot spot aims to prove that it’s an evolving, world-class destination.
Travelers who haven’t visited Acapulco in a while will notice improvements as soon as they land. In 2018, General Juan N. Alvarez International Airport — also known as Acapulco International Airport — debuted a brand-new terminal building, with the capacity to handle 1.3 million passengers annually. That’s good news for an airport that reported growth from 685,214 passengers in 2017 to more than 739,000 in 2018.
Among the biggest news in Acapulco’s hotel scene is the upcoming debut of the 605-room Dreams Acapulco Resort & Spa, located on Acapulco Bay’s Icacos Beach. The property — the result of a $35 million upgrade to the former Grand Hotel Acapulco — will have seven restaurants, four bars and a Dreams Spa by Pevonia.
Also new is the HS Hotsson Smart Acapulco, a 506-room beach hotel that debuted in December 2018, following a multimillion-dollar revamp of a property previously known as the Gran Plaza Hotel Acapulco and Crowne Plaza Acapulco.
Acapulco’s largest ongoing development, meanwhile, is entering its next phase. The Princess Diamante Master Plan 2017-2021, a private-sector project overseen by Mundo Imperial Entertainment & Hospitality, is aiming to increase the destination’s appeal for sports, medical and cultural tourism. A 10,000-seat tennis stadium is to begin construction soon, providing a new home for the Telcel Mexican Tennis Open, an event that has attracted renowned players including Rafael Nadal, Wang Yafan and Nick Kyrgios. The new stadium, which will cost more than $8 million, will also have flexible space to host conventions, meetings and special events.
In addition, the Princess Diamante plan calls for the construction of Princess Hospital, a medical tourism facility slated to open in 2020 with four operating rooms, a diagnostic center and a clinical laboratory. Also slated to open in 2020 is Galeon de Manila Center, a cultural venue, as well as a tourism education center, which will offer instruction in gastronomy and both tourism and hospital administration.
One of Acapulco’s newest existing attractions is already adding more features. Xtasea, which is billed as the “world’s longest overwater zip line,” is raising the altitude of its line by nearly 30 feet, to allow for faster speeds. The attraction plans to ultimately offer six different activities, including a traditional “Superman” style zipline flight, night flights, seated flights, hammock flights and a 65-foot bungee jump.
Bicycling enthusiasts will find new reasons to love Acapulco as well, as recent and planned infrastructure improvements make the city friendly for two-wheeled tourists. A new bicycle path has opened between the Mundo Imperial convention area and a nearby neighborhood called Plan de los Amates. In addition, cyclists can make use of a new path in the Puerto Marques district, with a scenic route that crosses Negra Lagoon to Revolcadero Beach. The nearby beach resort town of Pie de la Cuesta is also working on new bike lanes as part of a redeveloped, 7.8-mile boulevard.
During a speech at the opening ceremony of Tianguis Turistico, Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador mentioned additional improvements, as the government plans to invest a total of $26 million into Acapulco this year and another $26 million next year.
"Here in Acapulco, for example, [the city] has already started an urban development program in El Renacimiento neighborhood," he said. "We have committed resources for urban development, introducing water drainage, improving the streets, putting in public lighting, expanding and creating centers for recreation and also public safety."
The DetailsAcapulco Convention and Visitors Bureau www.visitacapulco.travel