The Yucatan Times recently conducted an exclusive online interview with new Cancun’s CEO Ivan Nanney.
“Ivan the INTREPID”, as he is widely known on the world wide web, is currently spending some quality time with his family in the beautiful American state of Idaho, charging himself up with positive energy to fly down to Cancun and take office as the new CEO of this important tourist destination on Thursday March 1, 2018.
This is what Ivan told the The Yucatan Times:
TYT: Why are you interested in becoming Cancun’s CEO?
IVAN: My first trip outside of the United States was more than 10 years ago and it was to the Yucatan Peninsula. This was the beginning of my travel career. As I continued to travel I realized just how transformative it could be and I began to see the benefits manifest in my own life. But after spending 5 months backpacking around South America I began to feel a bit selfish like I was just keeping all of the benefits to myself. It was at this time I decided to start sharing my adventures with the hope of encouraging others to go out and experience the change themselves. The problem with traditional blogging, though, is that it is time consuming and doesn’t pay very well (typically not at all). For these reasons it was hard to stay consistent.
But now, having this position with Cancun.com will give me the platform and support to reach a large audience and encourage them to come and experience one of the most magical regions on earth. I will be doing what I’m passionate about and, hopefully, empowering people to have life changing experiences in Mexico.
TYT: How familiar are you with the Mexican culture, is it important for the new Cancun’s CEO to be familiar with Mexican culture?
IVAN: I’ll be honest and say that coming from the United States can make it hard to discern what is Mexican culture and what is Mexican-American. But my experience in Latino communities and my experiences traveling have definitely taught me a couple of things. First, I know how kind and family oriented Mexicans are. You see this penetrate all aspects of life and celebrations and it is absolutely beautiful. Second, I know that Mexico is a huge country with a lot of diversity among its regions. This makes it hard to generalize and apply any particular ‘stereotypes’.
I do think it is very important for the CEO to be familiar with Mexican culture, as it will help me see a more intimate side of the region while also making me more capable of sharing it with others. I am currently trying to learn more about Mexican culture and history (with an emphasis on the Yucatan) through books and online resources. Once I begin working in Cancun I will seek out locals to help fill in the gaps because that is my favorite part about traveling!
TYT: How are you going to deal with the constant crime related news in the area?
IVAN: To be honest I’m not very concerned about it. As someone who has traveled to a lot of places deemed ‘dangerous’, I’ve learned that headlines don’t define destinations… they are just what gets the most attention. All places have crime and so of course it is important for travelers to be smart. This rule is as true for the American in Mexico as much as it is for the Mexican in America.
It is also important to realize that tourists are exempt from the majority of incidents. I was speaking with a taxi driver in Cancun and he said that tourism is what sustains Cancun; so if that goes, then there will be nothing for anyone… not even the criminals. In a sense, this actually creates a certain level of protection for tourists. I hope to break through this noise and fear by generating positive headlines through the stories I tell.
TYT: As the new Cancun CEO, what would be your message to the people visiting or living in the Yucatan peninsula?
IVAN: I just want everyone to know that while I will have a lot of fun doing this job, I will also take it very seriously.
We need more connection in this world and I hope to act as a bridge between Mexico and the USA (and beyond). But in order for me to do this successfully I’m going to need the help of locals, expats and previous travelers.
I’m not an expert yet and so I would love to know what makes the region special to THEM and what they would like me to share with potential visitors. I hope they feel comfortable reaching out on my social media channels (@IvanTheIntrepid) so that I can promote the region to the best of my ability on Cancun.com.
I am extremely grateful I get to spend the next six months in the Cancun area and I hope to meet many of you throughout this journey!
Online interview by Claudia Becerra and Alejandro Azcárate for The Yucatan Times
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