ACAPULCO — When Mexico launched its Tianguis Turistico travel trade event some four decades ago, there was an obvious place to hold it: the resort of Acapulco which had been attracting the jet set for some 20 years.
But after holding the event in Acapulco for 36 years, the Mexico Tourism Board, thought it was time for a change as Acapulco got caught up with gang killings related to the drug cartels and crimes against tourists.
The event was moved to Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit in 2012, Puebla in 2013 and Cancun in 2014.
Tianguis returned to Acapulco last month after the resort came off its strongest tourism year in a decade in 2014 and the resort showed off new infrastructure to buyers from around the world.
The city has been restoring its central plaza, creating a new viewing area for the cliff divers and investing $300 million to refurbish the airport.
Tianguis this year drew some 550 companies representing 1,150 buyers from five continents and 64 nations, including delegates from the Middle East and Africa, a first.
Hosting the show was the Mundo Imperial Expo, which opened six months ago in the new area of Diamante, home to a new hotel complex as well. Next year Tianguis will be held in Guadalajara and will return to Acapulco in 2017.
Acapulco’s tourism revival is coming mainly from domestic tourists and tourism officials here now are looking to attract more international visitors and more cruise ship calls.
Companies from around Mexico were promoting at Tianguis.
The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board reported that the AAA Four Diamond Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta officially opened its doors last month making it the sixth property to open in Puerto Vallarta in the past 12 months.
Puerto Vallarta is already looking at the next group of properties to open in 2015 with Grupo Posadas already building a new Fiesta Americana property, complete with what looks to be a sizable convention centre.
Construction have been going strong in Puerto Vallarta as tourism arrivals has steadily been increasing since 2008 and 2015 seems to be on its way to surpass 2014’s 1.5 million arrivals. Hotel occupancy has been between 85% and 100% for the past eight consecutive months. Cruise ship arrivals are also up with 145 cruises expected this year.
The Riviera Nayarit Convention & Visitors Bureau reports across-the-board tourism increases in 2014 with visitors drawn to the destination’s beaches, culinary scene, luxury resorts and outdoor adventure. The destination welcomed a total of 2,420,221 visitors and experienced a 17% increase in air arrivals overall to the region through the Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR); a 4.4 percentage point upswing in hotel occupancy, to 70.1%; and an 8% uptick in tourism revenues, to $1.8 billion.
Riviera Nayarit also saw a 15% increase in international travellers in 2014. This included 532,448 U.S. visitors, 11.5% more than in 2013; the U.S. market represented 22% of the total 2.4 million visitors to Riviera Nayarit in 2014. Canada is the second largest market, representing 19% of the total visitors to the destination.
The Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) was touting that the destination, two tour operators and one of its resorts were bestowed several awards during Tianguis.
The Expedia Group, one of the world’s largest online travel companies, together with Expedia’s Digital Solutions division and Lodging Partner Services division, bestowed the following awards to the CVB and Cancun’s top producing hotel:
- 2014 Mexico Destination Campaign of the Year – Awarded to the Cancun CVB, the destination saw a significant increase in bookings throughout its 2014 campaign resulting in a 44:1 return on the destination’s advertising investment.
- 2014 Top Producer Destination in Latin America & the Caribbean – Cancun had a record year and was given this award due to the destination’s partnership with Expedia, Inc., that resulted in a 50% year over year growth in demand.
- Mexico’s Top Hotel Producer in Cancun and Isla Mujeres – Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun Hotel is an all-inclusive resort in Cancun.
During Tianguis Turistico, the Mexican Ministry of Tourism also recognized the diversification of the tourism product in Mexico by awarding the country’s top tour operators, including the following in Cancun:
- Mexico’s Best Nature Tour – This award was given to EcoColors Tours for its whale shark swim excursions, which give Cancun visitors the chance to swim with the largest fish in the world. Cancun is home to the largest congregation of whale sharks in the world, and whale shark season takes place between June and September. EcoColors is a sustainable tour operator that offers innovative and exclusive products in ecotourism, adventure tourism and environmental training through quality tours and education.
- Mexico’s Best Cultural Tour – Alltournative, an eco-archeological tour operator that offers authentic expeditions in the destination, was bestowed the Best Cultural Tour award for its Coba Mayaville expedition. This excursion allows tourists to visit the archaeological site of Coba, and discover the amazing Nohoch Mul pyramid, the tallest in the Yucatan Peninsula. Tourists also have a chance to visit real Mayan families and villages to learn about their natural reserves, their way of life and to enjoy a traditional homemade meal by one of the local families. Alltournative promotes eco-tourism projects in different local communities and seeks to develop sustainable tourism and preserve Mayan culture in the area.