Mexico has put in to place a strong plan to encourage travel to the country for the coming Winter 2011/12 season.
The Honorable Gloria Guevara, Mexico's Secretary of Tourism, was in New York last night as part of a multi-city road show to present to travel agents and tour operators what those plans are.
In all, $25 million will be spent on television, print, online and trade advertising. That amount does not include incremental funds that will be raised through cooperative advertising with the private sector.
Of note is a television commercial campaign that launches in September. The series of on-air spots focuses on different parts of the country; last night we previewed those for Cancun, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Each showed the allure of Mexico and its impact on those seeking an escape. In the case of Cancun, a boy spoke of treasured time he spent with his father; the Mazatlan ad focused on a series of girlfriends traveling together with the main character eventually putting down her BlackBerry to enjoy the savored moments they were experiencing.
Aside from this very tactical plan, Guevara said that Mexico next year will host the G20 and that President Felipe Calderon has put tourism on the agenda for the world leaders as a point of discussion.
Mexico has placed an incredibly strong emphasis on the importance of tourism itself, simply by appointing Guevara to this new cabinet position; it’s showing the world that vacationing travelers are vital to the country. Indeed, 2011 in Mexico is “The Year of Tourism” which precipitated a “National Tourism Agreement” amongst the federal government, the financial sector, the legislature, the country’s universities, media, unions, and Mexico’s private sector, all of which have set specific, measureable goals to advance the country’s tourism infrastructure and image.
Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, the Mexico Tourist Board’s COO, also gave a presentation that revealed to the audience Mexico’s very tangible plans to draw tourist’s to a secure infrastructure. Included is a campaign for next year dubbed, “The Mayan World: The Beginning of a New Age,” which celebrates Mundo Maya for 2012. The move will celebrate Mexico’s Mayan archaeological sites and pay homage to the fact that it’s still possible to visit the living Mayan culture in Mexico.
Negrete also noted that Mexico is focusing on adventure travel and as a result is hosting the Adventure Travel World Summit in Chiapis this October 17-21. This market has value, said Negrete, because it tends to spend four times more than the traditional visitor and stays seven and a half nights per trip.
More effort is being put in to place to deal with travel warnings that send the wrong message to travelers, such as those in Texas earlier this year that suggested spring breakers don’t travel to Mexico so “they could stay alive.”
“We acknowledge that there is violence in Mexico but it is in specific parts of the country and does not violate the traveler’s experience in any way,” said Negrete.
Lastly, Negrete’s presentation included a seven-minute fun video that pointed to all the celebrities who vacation in Mexico and love it. Included were Madonna and Paris Hilton, to name but a few.
Get ready to see more of Mexico in the coming months: Rachel Ray will film four programs in the country, which will help to promote its gastronomic offerings and word is the Kardashians may be headed there as well.
Also on the schedule is a notable television series that has President Calderon showing off his country to various heads of state from throughout the world.