Even though the State Secretary of Tourism Promotion (SEFOTUR), Saul Ancona Salazar, presented a formal proposal naming Merida as a strong contender for the Mexico Tourism Tianguis 2016, and the document was presented with the endorsement of Governor Rolando Zapata Bello, showing that the State meets all the necessary requirements; Guadalajara was elected over Leon, Merida and Cancun for the”Tianguis Turistico 2016″ Venue.
The proposal highlighted the progress the State Government has made in tourism with greater air, road and sea connectivity, a wide range of natural attractions, unique archaeological sites, colonial cities, Haciendas, Spas and Boutique Hotels, among other competitive advantages that positions the state internationally as a world class travel destination. All this, coupled with the local culture and tradition, gastronomy and hospitality, made Yucatan a strong candidate for hosting the nation’s most important tourism industry event.
The proposal had the support of the State government and business sector. The Governor declared he was totally committed to hosting the event since the “Tianguis” is a crucial area for Mexico as well as a showcase for products displaying the culture and heritage of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Ancona Salazar said that Yucatan has become one of the main destinations of the country to achieve a record 1,426,678 overnight visitors, of which 77 percent were of national origin and 23 percent of international origin, which exceeded the historical high reached in 2008. In addition, the state experienced a growth of 8.9 percent in the number of visitors who stayed overnight, compared with 2013.
“Yucatan has extensive historical, cultural and gastronomic offerings, thanks to its modern infrastructure,” Salazar explained. “We want to make a commitment for Yucatan to host the Mexico Tourism Tianguis and offer the world the best showcase for conducting business,” he said.
In terms of air connectivity, Salazar recalled that in 2012, 15,905 weekly seats where available on inbound flights. For 2014, this number increased to 17,969, a growth of 13 percent in three years, with a projection of 19,000 for 2015.
New routes between Milan, Italy and Merida will begin operating on April 13, in addition to Tijuana, Guadalajara and Belize. Similarly, air traffic increased to/from Mexico City, Monterrey and Villahermosa, with new operations from the United States since November 2014, including more direct flights to Miami and Houston.
The port of Progreso has become a “Home Port”, where passengers can aboard Spanish Cruise Line “Pulmantour” liners. Progreso has been a stop for other major cruise lines such as Carnival for many years, but now Yucatecans and people from all over Mexico can start their cruise trips there.
Chichen Itza night tours called “Nights of Kukulcan” in coordination with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have become a reference and successful model across the geography of the country.
“As part of a strong tourism promotion strategy, Yucatán has achieved synergies with Cancún exchanging distinct but complementary products to and from the main tourist area of Mexico, with commitments in their policies, strategies and actions to promote regional tourism and connectivity in southeastern Mexico. ”
Yucatán is included in the Tourism Board of Mexico global campaigns “Live it to believe it” and played a prominent role in the International Tourism Fair in Berlin in 2014.
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