On Site: Mazatlan to Invest $11 Million in Tourism Promotion in 2012

As part of our coverage of the 37th annual Tianguis Turistico 2012 tradeshow, Travel Agent attended a breakfast hosted by the Mazatlan tourist bureau and learned that the destination plans to invest roughly $11 million in tourism promotion in 2012, including $250,000 allocated for agent fam trips.

According to tourism board representatives, the money will go toward an advertising campaign in both the U.S. and Canada with money set aside for road shows and agent fams.

Carlos Berdegue, vice president of the Mazatlan Hotel Association, says the agent fams will be designed to show the industry how safe the destination is despite a year in which it has been heavily criticized for being a dangerous destination.

"I can tell you how safe it is, but I have an interest in Mazatlan," he says. "That's why I am asking you to go and see for yourselves, thats why we want agents to come and see for themselves. You don't have to believe me. Come and see."

Berdegue also told media that building has commenced on a new road from the airport. He says the new entrance will be near Emerald Bay. Clients will now enter the destination through the the south of Mazatlan, offering a "more beautiful first impression for visitors," says Berdegue. Berdegue, however, did not give a time frame for when the new road will be completed.

As far as flights go, Berdegue says he is in discussions with Delta Airlines about adding a flight from Atlanta. Delta currently flies to Mazatlan from Minneapolis. He said there are also ongoing discussions about adding a Continental flight from San Francisco.

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for more updates from our ongoing coverage of 37th annual Tianguis Turistico, which runs through March 28.