Turtles, tunnels and "trillar" are trending topics this week in Mexico.
If clients are heading to Cancun and Cozumel, they should be on the lookout for turtle nesting activity. The country’s beaches on two coasts provide nesting habitats for seven of the world’s eight species of sea turtles. Breeding season doesn’t normally begin until May. But, this year, things have gotten an early start.
A turtle nest has already appeared in the Cancun Hotel Zone. Some 71 loggerhead turtle eggs were recovered and moved to a protected area. Similarly, another loggerhead turtle nest was discovered on the island of Cozumel.
As has become a yearly tradition, hotels are helping to monitor and care for the endangered nests. Many hotels set up fenced-in areas where guests can observe the hatching process. Some allow guests to participate in baby sea turtle returns.
Yvette Shaqir, co-owner of The Travel Boutique, is selling a lot of Mexico these days.
“After the election, people briefly decided Mexico wasn’t a good choice. They were afraid people down there would be mean to them. Every time I saw a comment on Facebook or Instagram, I would tell them that isn’t true. The people there need our money and are quite welcoming. I love supporting their tourism,” said Shaqir, who is based in the Washington, D.C. area.
Vicki Lundy-Revels is based in Northern California, where airlift to the west coast of Mexico is especially strong.
“The good thing about Mexico is that there are so many nonstop (flights) from the west coast to places such as Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. Accessibility is an issue that makes it so much more attractive. I’m working on a golf group right now,” Lundy-Revels tells Travel Agent.
An aerial view of Acapulco
One city on Mexico’s west coast continues to roll out improvements. Mexico’s “original beach destination” of Acapulco is now home to the country’s longest tunnel.
The new, two-mile “macro-tunnel” connects Acapulco’s Golden and Diamond tourist zones. It transforms a 45-minute journey into a quick, three-minute jaunt.
“As Mexico’s first beach destination, we are thrilled to have such a big development that will ease the access between two of the city’s most important touristic zones. The tunnel will allow tourists to have more time to enjoy the beauty of Acapulco,” Piquis Rochin, international promotion director for the Acapulco Destination Marketing Office tells Travel Agent.
The tunnel’s opening comes soon after the launch of the world’s longest over-ocean zip line. Both are part of an ongoing effort to return Acapulco to its status as tourism player.
Bad press from drug-cartel related violence has scared away U.S. visitors in recent years.
Now, the destination is taking security issues head-on. The macro-tunnel includes 72 security cameras, an elaborate fire protection system, dozens of temperature-controlling fans, a broadcast system, cell service, LED lighting and emergency stations.
In March, Acapulco hosted the most prominent travel tradeshow in the country, “Tianguis Turistico.” Upcoming events of note include the Paellas Festival in May. In July, the World Surf League hosts the Vans Surf Open on Revolcadero Beach. And the Corona SunSets beach party and concert takes place at the Princess Hotel waterfront.
By 2018, a new, eco-conscious airport terminal will also welcome visitors. Additional projects in the works include renovations at the Pierre Mundo Imperial and Princess Mundo Imperial hotels. New developments set to debut by 2022 include Spa Tlalli, Turtle Dunes Golf Clubhouse, Gourmet Beach, Hotel Prince by Mundo Imperial, Hotel Marqués Boutique, Hotel Boutique Only You and an eco-amusement park.
A panorama of San Miguel de Allende
Travel Agent has reported previously about The Market of Arts & Gastronomy (MAG) taking place in San Miguel del Allende July 13-16. Additional details are now available about the event. Hotel Matilda is one of MAG’s lead sponsors. It’s a logical affiliation. Chef Enrique Olvera’s Moxi at the hotel is the city’s marquee dining spot.
“It is extraordinarily rewarding to see our vision for Moxi — to create a world-class destination restaurant helmed by one of Mexico’s most heralded chefs — come to fruition,” Bruce James, director of Hotel Matilda tells Travel Agent.
Plans are in the works, said James, to bring MAG to different cities each year.
This year’s inaugural event will include “The Trillar at Hacienda los Pichachos.” The word trillar is a coffee-growers term. It refers to a green coffee bean that has not yet matured or been classified. MAG’s Trillar event shines a spotlight on emerging chefs and their creative new ideas.
Also on the program is an “Edible Expositions” display. And “The Marché” is a market with 120 booths offering food, beverages and art. It will take place at San Miguel de Allende’s Parque Juárez.