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They came from around Mexico and around the globe, with one thing on their mind: to sell more travel. When it comes to Mexico’s tourism industry, after all, there’s nothing bigger than the annual Tianguis Turistico conference. It’s a chance for suppliers and destinations to showcase their best and newest offerings, and for buyers to make new contacts and get fresh ideas about what to sell.
The 43rd edition of Tianguis took place in April in Mazatlan, with more than 200 Mexican and 477 international companies registered, as well as more than 1,000 buyers and 1,600 exhibitors gathered at the Mazatlan International Center.
During an opening night presentation at the historic Angela Peralta Theater, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto told attendees that Mexico is now the sixth most popular tourism destination in the world, according to the World Tourism Organization. The Mexico Tourism Board, meanwhile, announced that international arrivals surged by 62 percent between 2013 and 2017.
“Mexico’s ascent on the list of the world’s most visited countries is a testament to the fact that Mexico is indeed a world of its own, and one that people want to discover again and again,” said Enrique de la Madrid, Mexico’s minister of tourism.
With Mazatlan serving as host city for the first time, this was an especially important opportunity for the Pacific port city to shine. Attendees witnessed the results of multimillion-dollar improvements to the destination’s roadways and historic city center. The waterfront boulevard, called the Malecon, has also been beautified. And in the Zona Dorada, the beachfront “golden zone,” a variety of hotels also revealed the results of major renovations.
Attendees were treated to a variety of “only in Mazatlan” experiences, including a gala, open-air dinner event on the waterfront, complete with a mini carnival parade, live music and magnificent fireworks exhibit over the ocean.
Among the travel and tourism news to come from this year’s Tianguis Turistico:
- In Mazatlan, El Cid Resorts has completed extensive renovations and upgrades to guestrooms at all four of its Mazatlan hotels, as well as a variety of upgrades to restaurants and public areas, and a new Club Elite lounge at its El Moro property. In addition, Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan is in the midst of a $26.5 million renovation. Also in the works is a new Ibis hotel, slated to open later this year, as well as additional rooms at Casa Lucila boutique hotel.
- Apple Leisure Group provided details about several new hotel projects: The Now Natura Riviera Cancun, which is to open in late 2019, and Secrets Marina Resort & Spa, Secrets Marina Resort & Spa, Dreams Punta de Mita Resort & Spa and Secrets Punta de Mita Resort & Spa, all of which are to open in 2020. In addition, the company plans to debut a new “sub brand” of its Sunscape Resorts & Spa, with the debut of Sunscape Star Cancun, a new construction property slated to open in December.
- Grupo Posadas aims to more than double its room inventory from about 4,000 to more than 9,000 by 2020, with new properties in destinations including Cancun, Riviera Maya, Nuevo Vallarta, Acapulco and Huatulco, to name a few. In addition, Posadas is planning a foray into the Caribbean, with two hotels to open in the Dominican Republic and two in Cuba.
- The state of Baja California Sur reported that arrivals surged 15.6 percent between 2016 and 2017, with additional growth expected this year. More than 3,000 hotel rooms have been added in the past two years, with 4,820 in the pipeline, primarily in Los Cabos.
- In the Riviera Maya, Destino Xcaret announced plans for a second hotel project. La Casa de la Playa, a 63-room, eco-oriented property, is to open in summer 2019. The company’s Hotel Xcaret, which opened a few months ago, reported occupancy rates of 90 percent in the first quarter of 2018.
- Original Group, which operates the adults-only hospitality Temptation and Desire resorts, highlighted its plans for expansion, including a new 496-room Temptation resort to open in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in late 2019. The company also now offers cruises; in addition to an existing Desire Barcelona-Rome cruise (sailing in April 2018) Original has scheduled a Desire Monte Carlo Cruise for September 2019, a Caribbean cruise from Tampa in February 2020 and a Desire Greek Islands Cruise for September 2020.
2019 Tianguis Turistico Returns to Acapulco Attention now returns to the city of Acapulco, which will host the 2019 Tianguis Turistico. The city’s tourism representatives touted the destination’s readiness to host the event yet again, mentioning recent developments such as the newly expanded airport, which recently added more than 75,000 square feet of additional space.
“The 44th edition of Tianguis in Acapulco next year will give us the opportunity to show an elevated infrastructure and world-class tourist offering to a global audience,” said Ernesto Rodriguez Escalona, secretary of tourism for the state of Guerrero. “Travelers can expect to see new attractions including an extreme space adventure park, hotel and airport renovations, and a tennis stadium.”
During Tianguis, Acapulco also announced major development plans including the $8 million renovation of the Traditional Zone. In addition, Grupo Autofin’s “Master Plan” is continuing to advance, with upgrades at the Pierre Mundo Imperial and Princess Mundo Imperial hotels, as well as new developments that include new hotels, a medical center and retail venues, with completion date for all projects by 2022.