ST. PAUL, Minnesota – As part of our coverage of the 17th annual MLT University tradeshow, Travel Agent attended one of the 40 destination classes being offered, titled “Mazatlan: For Travelers, Not Tourists.”
Julio Birrueta of the Mazatlan Hotel Association told a room full of agents about the destination’s evolution from a college Spring Break destination in the ‘80s and ‘90s to what has become a haven for families and other seasoned travelers who are looking for a little something different in Mexico.
“A lot of people say they have been to Mexico once and that they have been there and done that,” says Birrueta, “but many people don’t realize that Mexico has about 20 different destinations to offer. And that is why we are here, to tell you about Mazatlan, a destination that is more than just beaches and beer.”
Birrueta says the destination “used to be a spring break Mecca” but that approach changed in the mid-‘90s when all the spring breakers got older, had families and wanted to come back. Birrueta says the destination has since transformed many of its historic houses into restaurants, retail stores and bars, and has added new tours such as whale watching from November to April, all making the getaway the perfect spot for families to take part in not just beaches and sun, but some authentic Mexican culture as well.
One event, in particular, which Mazatlan is known for is its Mardi Gras celebration. It takes place around the same time as all the famous carnivals throughout the world are from Trinidad to Brazil, but what sets it apart is its focus on family activities, Birrueta says. For example, there is an array of family-focused parades and tours of Mazatlan’s Malecon region, which is home to shopping, restaurants and bars.
Birrueta says the U.S. market traveling to Mazatlan continues to grow at a rapid pace with markets such as California, Texas and Minnesota topping the list.
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for more onsite coverage as we will continue to bring you the latest news and notes throughout the duration of our stay, which concludes tomorrow morning.