Expect to see more cooperation among tourism officials in California and Mexico to grow cross-border travel.
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The state has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mexico to grow tourism between the two.
Visit California, the state tourism organization, launched a $1 million marketing campaign this spring in Mexico to drive summer bookings, including Visit California’s first broadcast advertising in Mexico inviting consumers to “come to California and dream big too.” Visit California anticipates that air arrivals from Mexico to California will increase by 19 percent from 2013 to 2016.
“This is an exciting win-win tourism partnership for both California and Mexico,” said Visit California president and CEO Caroline Beteta in a statement. “For California, Mexico is the largest source of international visitors, with 7.4 million visitors in 2013 contributing $2.9 billion to California’s economy. This is a smart partnership that will set us up for ongoing economic success.”
Out of the 12 regions in the state, the “desert region” — which includes the Coachella Valley — ranks fourth out of areas in the state, Mexican residents say they would like to visit, according to Visit California research statistics. Only the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego ranked higher.
Ontario International Airport is served by both AeroMexico and Volaris. AeroMexico has four flights a week into ONT, while Volaris has three flights a week, (up from two, as of Sept. 1.)
“The activity for both carriers is very good thus far in 2014,” said Jess Romo, airport manager for Ontario International, where international travel is up 68.7 percent for the first seven months of this year, compared to the same seven months in 2013, according to airport statistics.
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“The carriers seem to think that over time there will be growth, although neither has announced plans for the next quarter or anytime beyond that” Romo added.
The agreement calls on California and Mexico to develop tourism promotion incentives to increase travel between California and Mexico and specifically highlights the important value tourism and travel provides as an economic engine. It also encourages members of the tourism industry in both nations to exchange experiences, statistics and other information for the mutual benefit of the tourism sector on both sides of the border.