While the President of the Business Association in Puerto Vallarta-Bahia de Banderas, Jorge Villanueva said that he is regenerating interest in having Puerto Vallarta added to Mexico’s Pueblos Magicos (Magical Towns) program, Secretary of Tourism of Jalisco, Enrique Ramos Flores, says not so fast.
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The proposal to designate Puerto Vallarta as a Magical Town has already made its way to the state congress.
The Secretary of Tourism says they will welcome the recognition by the National Secretary of Tourism, but he says Puerto Vallarta will stand to lose millions of dollars in promotions already being invested by the state and federal tourism departments.
The Pueblo Magicos program was launched by the Federal Secretary of Tourism Office to recognize the towns of Mexico with deep cultural roots and show a different side of Mexico, besides the beaches, to international tourists visiting the country. By designating Puerto Vallarta as a Magical Town it stands to lose all promotional monies used to promote the city as a beach destination.
There are currently 83 Magical Towns in Mexico receiving federal tourism dollars to help promote their destination.
Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu with the National Tourism Department and Undersecretary Carlos Joaquín González also agreed that it would not be beneficial to the city to receive the recognition, and perhaps the city was not qualified for the honor based on the criteria, but they gladly accept the request.
In the coming days the general director of planning, Víctor Mijangos, will be present in Puerto Vallarta to explain to the applicants the requirements to become magical town and what the possibilities are for Puerto Vallarta to achieve the recognition of Pueblo Magico.
Currently the Magical Towns Program is looking at new city applications to designate a handful of destinations in 2015; most recently we reported that Sayulita is also seeking the honor.
Sayulita could gain exposure through the program as it already receives less state and federal tourism investments as a beach destination compared to Puerto Vallarta.