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Revamped Acapulco

May 21, 2012 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent


La Isla shopping and entertainment complex
The expanded La Isla shopping and entertainment complex is convenient to the new 224-room Holiday Inn Acapulco La Isla.


Whatever the real reasons for moving the annual Tianguis Turistico out of Acapulco for the first time in 36 years were, many in the industry still contend the change was an admission that perhaps safety in Acapulco had become a legitimate concern. So the destination responded by launching perhaps one of the most important campaigns in its history with hopes of convincing agents, operators and clients that the legendary Pacific coast hot spot is still the place to be in Mexico.

Travel Agent breaks down the ongoing efforts of Acapulco tourism officials to clean up its unfairly (in our opinion) tarnished image as well as tell you what the destination is doing to give its tourism product a fresh look. A new Acapulco is being unveiled, led by an array of new hotels, sport and entertainment complexes, and major tourism initiatives and investments from both the public and private sector. Among the current roster of upscale activities and cultural offerings, a number of ambitious new projects are under way.

The most recent investment in Acapulco comes in the form of the new Advisory Council for the Recovery of the Traditional Zone—a celebrated neighborhood in Acapulco that is home to the legendary La Quebrada cliff divers, the famous Hotel Los Flamingos and the retro-chic Hotel Boca Chica.

Mexican entrepreneur Carlos Slim was appointed chairman of the new Advisory Council, whose main objective is to protect, restore and revitalize this important area of Acapulco. Future projects include the creation of a Center for Biodiversity; a recreation center for the Caleta and Caletilla beach areas, inclusive of an entertainment center, movie theater, gourmet market and traditional “zocalo,” as well as an outdoor shopping plaza.

Two additional and important projects to be launched this year are major upgrades to Acapulco’s tourism infrastructure—a new transportation system (ACABUS) that will run from the Traditional Zone to the Diamond Zone—as well as the construction of a new tunnel that will connect the main tourism area (the Golden Zone) to the Diamond Zone. Both projects are expected to alleviate traffic problems in Acapulco’s main tourism areas and offer travelers an easy, affordable way to enjoy all of the destination’s distinct neighborhoods.

Also new in Acapulco this year is the Turtle Dunes Country Club and Golf Course, an exclusive, full-service country club opened in February on the grounds of the Fairmont Acapulco Princess. The club features an 18-hole championship golf course, a clubhouse situated on the famed Revolcadero Beach, the Lorena Ochoa Golf Academy and a fitness center. Additionally, the destination prepares to welcome a brand-new soccer stadium in the Diamond Zone. The facility will hold more than 27,000 people and will house a shopping mall, aquarium and gym upon completion.

Hotel Development Continues

In recent years, Acapulco has welcomed some of the most celebrated hotels in all of Mexico to its collection of resorts, such as Las Brisas, Hotel ELCANO Acapulco and the newly renovatedGrand Hotel Acapulco.

Recent openings include a fashionable boutique property, Hotel Encanto, the vision of Mexican architect Miguel Angel Aragones, and the high-end, cliff-top Banyan Tree Cabo Marques, featuring the signature Banyan Tree Spa. Also new to Acapulco this year is the 224-room Holiday Inn Acapulco La Isla in the Condesa neighborhood, just minutes from the destination’s top-rated restaurants and attractions.

New mega-complexes serving to lure sophisticated travelers to Acapulco include the 685,000-square-foot La Isla Shopping Village, which recently announced its expansion to include new, high-end retail stores, movie theaters, an interactive aquarium, and Mundo Imperial, a $300 million investment that features the city’s most popular entertainment and concert venue, the Forum Imperial. Mundo Imperial has continued to solidify its position at the center of Acapulco’s tourism infrastructure with the 2012 opening of the Expo Mundo Imperial, a new convention center.

Revitalization Campaign

The Acapulco Destination Marketing Office, in conjunction with the office of the Secretary of Tourism for the State of Guerrero, announced in March the launch of a new consumer-driven tourism campaign focused on the revitalization of Mexico’s first beach resort.

A combination of public relations, digital communications, social media and on-the-ground efforts, the campaign will aim to educate travelers on the positive strides being made within the destination and throughout the state of Guerrero to change the overall perception of Acapulco.

The new campaign will begin with the development of a new English language website for the destination——which will be rebranded to highlight the timeless glamour of Acapulco captured in the new guidebook, Acuérdate de Acapulco (Remember Acapulco) while incorporating contemporary technology such as social media connectivity and enhanced, interactive content.

Additionally, the new campaign will further promote the multimillion-dollar investment by the state of Guerrero and the federal government—Guerrero Seguro (Safe Guerrero)—a new program that officially launched at the end of 2011. This program is designed to help visitors feel comfortable during their visit to the region and is made up of three subprograms: Safe Nightlife, Safe Road and Safe Taxi.


A Successful Tianguis

Well, it may not have hosted Tianguis Turistico this year, but Acapulco still saw plenty of success from Mexico’s biggest trade show of the year.

Following a successful showing at the annual trade show in Puerto Vallarta in March, the Acapulco Destination Marketing Office recently announced partnerships with 13 airlines, wholesalers and service providers in the U.S., Canada and abroad.

The companies are MLT Vacations, Sunwing, Nolitours, GOGO Worldwide Vacations, Total Vacations, Travelocity, Expedia, Orizonia, Euroandino, Aviatur, Aeromar and El Palacio de Hierro.

According to Acapulco representatives, the partnerships are believed to be a direct result of the destination’s new consumer tourism campaign that combines digital communications, social media and on-the-ground efforts to change the overall perception of Acapulco.


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About the Author

Joe Pike
Joe Pike is Travel Agent's senior editor covering the Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda; Hawaii; Central & South America. Previously, Pike was a newspaper reporter for The Asbury Park...

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By Joe Pike | May 21, 2012
Acapulco rebounds with aggressive image campaigns despite the loss of Tianguis Turistico.