The city of Tekax hosted the ceremony to award the “Pueblos Mágicos” (Magical Towns) certificates in Yucatán – Espita, Motul, and Tekax were recently announced by the Federal Secretariat of Tourism. Representatives from the federal, state, and municipal governments attended the event. Now Yucatán has a total of seven towns with this designation.
Previously, Valladolid, Izamal, Maní, and Sisal obtained this recognition, which has allowed them to implement public policies to address urban image conditions, facade restoration projects, signage, and promotional presence in tourism marketing.
The “Pueblos Mágicos de México” (Magical Towns of Mexico) program was developed by the Federal Secretariat of Tourism in collaboration with various governmental, state, and municipal bodies to enhance the value of historical, cultural, and traditional aspects of the country with tourism potential.
Originally, the program aimed to promote small communities that offered a unique experience compared to traditional urban and tourist destinations due to their traditions, gastronomy, culture, folklore, and craftsmanship. Huasca, Hidalgo was the first place to receive this certification as a tourist attraction.
The “Pueblo Mágico” designation aims to recognize localities with symbolic attributes, legends, history, significant events, and daily life that represent a great opportunity for tourism development, thereby strengthening the economy of the region.
Upon the creation of this federal program, subsidies were granted to federal entities to diversify and improve the quality of these destinations, products, and tourist services. It also aimed to stimulate and encourage public and private investment to generate economic benefits, employment, social and economic development for the recipient community, and improve the infrastructure and urban image of the towns. However, the trust that provided these subsidies has now been discontinued.
To date, the federal government has issued 177 certificates, with the most visited destinations being Mazunte, Oaxaca; Pátzcuaro, Michoacán; Sayulita, Nayarit; Taxco, Guerrero, and Valle de Bravo in the State of Mexico. In Yucatán, there are seven designations, the last five being Maní, Sisal, Espita, Motul, and Tekax, all obtained in the last three years.
The Federal Secretariat also created the designation “Barrios Mágicos” (Magical Neighborhoods), which originated from an initiative in the city of Chetumal to address issues of marginalization, image, and tourism presence in a specific area of the municipal center. This led to other points and areas in cities throughout the country adopting the same designation.
In the case of Mérida, the historic neighborhood of Ermita de Santa Isabel will receive this designation in an event that will take place this Thursday afternoon, including the unveiling of a plaque in the park of this populous neighborhood in the southern part of the Yucatecan capital.
Regarding this matter, José Luis Martínez Semerena stated that the Municipality of Mérida has submitted eight applications to the Secretariat of Tourism to achieve this designation for the neighborhoods of Santa Ana, San Sebastián, Santiago, Mejorada, San Cristóbal, Xcalachén, and San Juan, covering the seven neighborhoods of the Historic Center of Mérida, in addition to the southern area within the perimeter of the General Cemetery known as Xcalachén.