For those of you who think you might know Acapulco, we say it may be time to reconnect and rediscover the destination.
It is no secret that Acapulco has received some bad press in the last few years - news that cannot and should not be ignored. But last week Travel Agent met with Thomas Becker, Managing Director for Fairmont Acapulco Princess and Fairmont Pierre Marques in Acapulco, who told us that today is the day of a new Acapulco.
For those who are not familiar with the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts properties in the destination, there are three, each of which is designed to cater to a different demographic. The Acapulco Princess, the largest of the group, has 1,011 rooms, a watermark, spa, Kids Club, restaurants, bars, etc. It is the ideal destination for business or family travel. The Pierre Marques is a bit more intimate with 229 bungalows and a "beauty" romantic feel. Becker tells us that the Pierre Marques sits in the former Paul Getty residence. Finally, the Fairmont Heritage Place Acapulco Diamante is a fractional ownership product with 40 four-bedroom villas, a pool, lake and, of course, beachfront access.
To show the strength of both the destination and the properties, Becker told Travel Agent that as of February last year, the Fairmont properties in Acapulco were at the bottom of the performance barrel for the Fairmont portfolio. Of the 65 properties associated with Fairmont, the Acapulco Princess and the Pierre Marques ranked #52 and #53. However, now, the properties have skyrocketed to the #1 and #2 positions, which is a 60 percent increase in market share.
"When this happens, the confidence comes back," says Becker. "It is time to take us seriously."
With this surge in confidence (and sales), the hotels has had a host of events on their social calendars. These events include world-class golf tournaments, surf competitions, tennis matches, gymnastics performances and more. All of these events draw top athletes to the properties, as well. (Rafael Nadal, anyone?)
Beyond the hotels, which are just five minutes from the airport, Acapulco has a wealth of luxury amenities to keep the discerning American traveler feeling pampered and relaxed. La Isla is a new shopping center that is home to old favorites like Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss and more. Do we smell a new brand campaign in the works?
Above all, Becker wants to get the message to travel agents that Acapulco is back. In fact, it is one of the most popular travel destinations for the domestic traveler. The key is to bring confidence back to the American market. This is the new Acapulco and it is not to be missed.