At a panel held at the recent Cruise Shipping Miami 2011 trade show and conference, Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism Director General for Tourism Product Development, Fernando Olivera, noted that the international tourist arrivals by cruise ship to Mexico grew 14 percent in 2010, equaling an estimated 6.6 million visitors.
He added that Mexico remains among the top ten destinations for cruise arrivals worldwide. He invited international shipping companies to invest in Mexico, not only with international arrivals, but also to severe domestic routes among Mexican tourists.
Throughout the tradeshow, talk of the growth of cruising in Mexico continued from Olivera as well as from the representatives of all the receiving ports in Mexico, including Acapulco, Campeche, Chiapas, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Dos Bocas (Tabasco), Ensenada, Guaymas, Huatulco, La Paz, Loreto, Los Cabos, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, Progreso, Puerto Vallarta, Topolobampo, Veracruz and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.
Safety and the programs in place to address it, as well as infrastructure improvements, were also of topic among the executives present. Of specific concern was safety in Mazatlan, but the secretary of tourism from Sinaloa, Oralia Rice, presented the Tourist Security Plan to cruise line executives at the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) meeting, and discussed its implementation and consistent operation at the port. More considerations from the cruise lines will happen over the next month, but the outlook of Mazatlan remaining a safe and viable port for their ships is positive with the new plan in place.
Many more visitors to the pavilion were learning about Mexico’s differentiated products such as cultural tourism (archaeology, colonial architecture, and handicrafts), as well as journeys involving cuisine, natural resources, ecotourism and adventure tourism along with the traditional beach excursions.