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Tourism is coming back to Mexico

Tourism tide turning to Mexican interior

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Colorful Chiapas
Mexico's National Palace

Despite the popularity of its beaches, Mexico is succeeding in luring an increasing number of international visitors beyond its coastline and into its culturally rich interior.

Whilst Mexico’s shoreline continues to be a major draw card for travelers, the Mexico Tourism Board predicts that cultural tourism will rise to around 35 per cent of the nation's total tourism revenue as more and more visitors discover the diversity of the country’s tourism offering.

And according to Mexico Tourism Board Los Angeles Deputy Director Alejandro Grageda Diaz, with so many amazing cultural experiences within easy reach of popular coastal towns, it is little wonder so many visitors are turning their attention inland.  

“They’ve been to Cancun several times, they’ve been to Cabo for years; and they’re starting to realize there’s something beyond Puerto Vallarta,” Mr Diaz said sitting down with e-Travel Blackboard.

“There’s a place called Tequila just two or three hours away, where they can have amazing experiences … and a short drive from there is Guadalajara – one of the most amazing cities in Mexico.

“It’s a completely different message from the one we come across with the sun and beach.”

And after a week of engrossing cultural experiences “disconnecting them from their own reality”, Mr Diaz said guests could then “lay back on the beach for another week”.

Whilst he acknowledged the challenges facing tourism to inland Mexico, most notably air connectivity and “very well put together packages” to traditional resort towns (“You can buy a package for US$600 for a week in Puerto Vallarta in a three-star hotel”), Mr Diaz was confident Americans would continue to seek out new experiences in Mexico.

“They’re looking at going to Chiapas to find a Jaguar; to going into the jungle to meet the Lacandones,” he remarked.

“These are amazing experience and they’re available … and they’re really close.”

And at the center of these encounters was Mexico City, “without doubt, one of the most exciting cities in the world”.

“Everything that happens, happens in Mexico City,” Mr Diaz said.

“I am originally from Mexico City and I would say I have rediscovered it several times.”

As well as boasting “more museums than in New York and in Paris”, Diaz highlighted the city’s “absolutely amazing gastronomy”.

“You can have food from everywhere in the world.”

“And the interesting thing is the mix of international cuisine blended with the Mexican flavor; it creates a different identity for the food.”

Tellingly, Mr Diaz spoke of his particular fondness for a fusion Mexican/Japanese restaurant in the city, a reminder of the metropolis’ – and country’s – changing landscape.
Published Wednesday, November 16, 2011 4:55 PM by Zinnia Q.


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