Mexico’s message to world travel industry: Innovate or die

“Innovate or die”, is the idea of ​​Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, Miguel Torruco, who assures that Mexico does not like to “manage inertia” and that is why he is presenting these days at the International Tourism Fair of Madrid (Fitur) a package of innovative offers to improve the sector.

In an interview with EFE, Torruco stressed that the decision of the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, not to restrict flights during the pandemic and to carry out the sanitary protocols in coordination between Tourism and the Ministry of Health was “correct”.

“We were the only country that did not cancel its fair, we did the first digital edition with the presence of 61 countries, but also with the austerity policy we had enough resources to purchase the vaccines from the five pharmaceutical companies and we maintained close contact with tour operators from the five countries that emit heavily to Mexico,” he said.

Those countries are the United States, Canada, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina in America, “because the borders in Europe were closed, if Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany had not been there.”

It should be noted in regard to the comments by Torruco that Mexico received millions of vaccine doses for free from the United States and other countries through the vaccination program for underdeveloped nations.

“The result is that the world, according to the World Tourism Organization, fell 73%, that the countries that compete with Mexico, the 20 great powers from an economic point of view, fell from 83 to 88%. Mexico only had a contraction of 46%,” Torruco highlighted.

That prompt recovery meant that last year Mexican tourism closed in second place, below France, “that is, we went from seventh place to second.”

In terms of foreign exchange, Mexico went from 17th to 9th place and in per capita spending from 40th to 29th.

“Something encouraging is that last year we closed with 47.4 billion dollars, which means 11.6% more than in 2019. In summary, the policy that was implemented during the pandemic had an effect,” said the Mexican Secretary of Tourism.

In March, Mexico will celebrate the 47th edition of its tourism fair, the most important in Latin America and which will be held for the first time in Mexico City.

To this event, Mexico has invited for the first time the “brother” countries with which it shares the Mayan World, which are Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

“We are going to have a multi-region destination, which is what is being demanded. Something that the pandemic has left us is that the tourist profile changed, now they prefer places that are more spaced out on average, driving less than three hours and plane four and a half hours”.

Spending per tourist has also increased, “because it is increasingly demanding and informed, which is why we have been anticipating consumer expectations since before the pandemic.”

THE MAYAN TRAIN, THE BIG BET

The most innovative project in Mexico continues to be the “Maya Train,” “the largest investment in tourism in the last 60 years,” according to Torruco.

This train will have a 1,525-kilometer route and will stop at 20 stations “without losing sight of support for the local population.

The tourist train will also have a restaurant with national Mexican food, cabins, and a bar, and will pass through “117 high-impact attractions. It will be a great tourist attraction,” said the Secretary of Tourism.

But in addition, the tourist efforts move throughout the republic with “innovation”.

For example, in the case of the state of Sinaloa and specifically in the city of Mazatlán, a place much visited by Canadians, the largest aquarium in Latin America will be inaugurated in the next three months.

“Other types of attractions have also been built there, such as what used to be the great prison of Islas Marías – 112 kilometers from the coast of the Mexican state of Nayarit-. We moved the prisoners to the mainland and the port of the mother island was remodeled of the three that there are, where eight tourist attractions were built,” said Torruco.

The Secretary of Tourism also highlighted that this destination is already open to national and international tourism, with three ferries that leave from Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, and San Blas.

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