The tourism sector in Mexico has attracted much attention in recent years, especially after the number of visitors rose to 23.7 million in 2013, up an impressive 18 percent from 2012. At the recent Tianguis Turistico, which is the largest annual tourism trade show in Mexico,President Enrique Pena Nieto spoke to attendees, announcing plans to invest an additional $13.8 million in the nation’s tourism infrastructure.
“The show attracted buyers and press from 61 countries including Vietnam,Nigeria and Norway,” writes the San Francisco Gate. “Conferences covered a wide range of topics, including strategies to increase tourism from Russia to programs to enhance attractions in Chihuahua, Michoacan and other culturally rich destinations.”
Held in the state of Quintana Roo, which is home to Cancun and the Riviera Maya, this year’s show made the most of the region’s fabulous beaches and first-class resorts. Travel agents, hotel and airline companies, travel wholesalers, destination agencies and the press were on hand for the event, which featured displays from most of Mexico’s states, reminding attendees of the nation’s impressive array of cultural and natural treasures.
A major new development announced at the trade show involved Maya Ka’an a Mayan-themed cultural and ecotourism initiative that brings together a variety of government agencies, tourism groups and private businesses. These groups are working to create a plan to ensure the future sustainability of the Riviera Maya, which is home to various ancient Mayan sites and modern Mayan communities. As a result, there are guided adventure tours that take visitors to remote villages, as well as kayaking, fly-fishing, bird watching and other nature tours.
“Maya Ka’an aims to prove that community based tourism encourages the sustainable use of natural resources and improves the quality of life for people who reap few benefits from the massive tourism activity in their homeland,” writes the San Francisco Gate.
In addition,Mexico’s Riviera Maya will soon be home to the only permanent Cirque du Soleil theatre outside of the U.S.,located at the Grand Mayan resort. Here, the famed performing company will present “Joya,” a full-scale production that opens November 8,2014 with eight performances each week. The new freestanding 600-seat theatre is still under construction, but performers are already in practice for the elaborate show, which will offer tickets ranging from $85 to $225.
In other areas, Mazatlan, which lies on the nation’s Pacific Coast, has experienced a new influx of cruises including five lines – Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines – to the Mexican Riviera, along with more than 200,000 passengers for the 2014 season. In addition, Puerto Los Cabos, a new marina development in Cabo San Lucas, will open a new Secrets resort in December of 2015 and a new JW Marriott is under construction.
Finally, the Mexican Secretary of Tourism, Claudia Ruiz Massieu, has announced that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Mexico has increased by more than 360 percent over the last seven years, making China the 20th largest source of visitors to Mexico worldwide and the second largest source of tourists from Asia. According to the Secretary,Mexico is working to promote itself as a top tourism destination for all of Asia, and is considering declaring 2015 the Year of Mexico-China Tourism.