Merida City Hall, as a part of a strategy to attract more tourists and lengthen their stay in the city, signed an agreement with car rental companies in Quintana Roo and local boutique hotels, in collaboration with the Canaco-Servytur Merida (Tourism Services Chamber of Commerce).
In a press conference at the Canaco-Servytur facilities, Tommy Soberanis Valdés, Municipal Director of Tourism, highlighted the slogan: “To exploit and promote the region’s tourism resources”.
“By joining forces with nearby tourist destinations, we will be able to significantly increase the influx of visitors to Merida” Soberanis said.
He stated that Cancun is the greatest magnet for travelers in all of Southeast Mexico. Since last year, Cancun International airport has accommodated more than 17 million passengers.
“This Project is basically a plan to take advantage of our geographic location to benefit hotels, restaurants, car rental businesses, as much in Merida as in the whole Mexican Caribbean.”
The plan involves the main car rental companies in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya, and the most important boutique hotels in downtown Merida.
“The initiative is a result of teamwork, training , promotion, marketing, advertising and publicity efforts. We hope to generate a benefit to all the companies involved,” he said.
The president of the Canaco-Servytur Merida, José Manuel López Campos, thanked all the people involved, with special recognition to the City of Merida Municipal Administration for working with the private sector to take this important first step.
“Merida’s tourism should be exploited to reactivate the local economy and to position Merida as a cultural and gastronomic world class travel destination.”
He stated that the boutique hotels in downtown Merida mix modern services with classic colonial architecture. Many are restored properties with architecture that make guests feel like time travelers.
Karol Kolosz Fischer, vice-president of Tourism of the Canaco-Servytur Merida, owner and manager of “Rosas y Xocolate”, one of the most renowned boutique hotels in Merida, said that many of the ideas that are now a reality were planned years ago, but made possible now that the City of Merida has appreciated the importance of this project.
Most of the foreign tourists that visit southeast Mexico arrive at Cancun International Airport but do not go beyond Cancun, Playa del Carmen or the Riviera Maya. These world class destinations host around 17 million visitors per year. By contrast, in 2014 Yucatan barely received one million visitors.
The strategy is a combined effort between private entrepreneurs and local authorities, with both sectors focusing on tourism in Merida to further benefit the city.
María Emilia Villarreal, Infrastructure and Linking subdirector of Merida’s Tourism Direction, said that through this agreement four of the main car rental companies in Quintana Roo will place special brochures in their vehicles.
The brochure will contain detailed information on Merida, highlighting distance, travel times, attractions and a list of boutique hotels that include free breakfast. It will also include a map of downtown Merida and information about the free events organized by City Hall every day of the week. They also provide the location of the touristic information modules, and the link to download the City of Merida free app to their mobile devices.
Jorge Torre Loria, Boutique Hotels deputy, Eduardo Gonzalez, Quintana Roo car rentals deputy and District Manager of AVIS RENT A CAR are also part of this strategic alliance.
Merida City Hall personnel went to Quintana Roo to train the car rental companies’ staff, so they can provide correct information to tourists traveling to “The White City”.
Eduardo Gonzalez confirmed that the car rental business is committed to Merida’s initiative to bring more tourism to the city.
The hotels in Merida will offer free stays to the car rentals sales agents that bring more people to Merida. In return, the rentals will offer free vehicles to the hotel workers.
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