According to bandenews.com, the new 200 million peso (10.2 million USD) aquarium, which is part of the modernization and expansion of Puerto Vallarta’s maritime terminal, will be the largest and most modern aquarium in all of Mexico.
The company in charge of the project, Carlos Slim Helu-owned Blau Life, S.A.P.I. de C.V., specializes in large, modern structures of this kind.
“Personally, I have always been interested in the concept of ‘edutainment,’ which merges education and entertainment. I wanted to build a business around that idea, and started thinking of establishing an aquarium because it was the perfect system for reaching several audiences,” said Blau Life President and CEO Alejandro Nasta Icaza in a 2015 interview with TheBusinessYear.com.
His first project was the Aquarium Inbursa that he and Slim opened in Mexico City in 2014. “At Acuario Inbursa, we have kids that come with their schools and parents, as well as young people and senior citizens who all come to learn and enjoy themselves here,” Nasta Icaza said.
Puerto Vallarta’s aquarium will be much larger than the one in Mexico City’s Plaza Carso, which features more than 230 species and about 15,000 specimens in 48 exhibits.
According to Miguel Angel García Beltrán, General Director of the Port Authority (API),Puerto Vallarta’s aquarium will include glass tunnels that allow visitors to see most all of the marine species within.
Construction of Vallarta’s aquarium is expected to begin in August and to be completed within 2 years. In addition to financing the project, Blau Life will be in charge of the construction and operation of the facilities, according to the contract that was signed on April 12, 2016.
In addition to the world-class aquarium where more than 300 species will be exhibited, the modernization and expansion of the cruise ship terminal includes the construction of Passenger Terminal No. 3, a complementary tourist services area, and a traditional Mexican hacienda that houses a Tequila museum.
Jalisco State Tourism Secretary, Enrique Ramos Flores, assures that a project of this magnitude will become a tourist attraction of great relevance to Puerto Vallarta. “These additions to Puerto Vallarta’s Maritime Terminal have certainly triggered an increase in cruise ship companies’ interest in sailing to this destination,” he said after attending the 22nd Florida-Carribean Cruise Association Conference.
For his part, the director of the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Trust, Agustin Alvarez, said this aquarium will complement Puerto Vallarta existing attractions. “A scenario of this quality, one that combines culture and ecological awareness, will surely increase tourism to this destination. It will not only make it more attractive to the more than 330,000 cruise passengers who visit us every year, but also to domestic and foreign visitors,” he said.
This kind of project also helps generate jobs in the tourism industry. Proof of this is that, from 2010 to date, this sector has generated more than 10,000 jobs in Puerto Vallarta.
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