On Site: Tianguis Turistico Kicks Off in Puerto Vallarta

The first Tianguis Turistico tradeshow, hosted outside of Acapulco for the first time in 36 years officially kicked off Monday afternoon with an opening ceremony that included remarks by both President Felipe Calderon and Secretary of Tourism Gloria Guevara.

Besides being the first Tianguis outside of Acapulco, this is also the first event to be hosted by two destinations: Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta.

“This may be the last Tianguis Turistico I will inaugurate, but that doesn’t mean I won’t continue to be be an enthusiastic promoter of tourism for Mexico,” says Calderon, “and I will continue to work intensely along these lines.”

According to Guevara, 22,000 business appointments has been set up this year, representing a 40-percent increase in meetings compared to last year's show. There are also 30 exhibitors and 15 international buyer companies this year, 75 percent of which represent wholesalers, she says. There are more than 7,000 attendees this year, representing a whopping 75-percent increase in attendance from last year's event.

"Today, Mexico serves as a role model," she says. "It's a leading model for international tourism. And we have done that with concrete and specific actions, and not with speeches."

She noted that 98 percent of all travelers to Mexico are repeat visitors and 99 percent, according to a survey, would recommend Mexico as a tourist destination.

"This is because of the extraordinary hospitality of Mexicans," she says. "Tourism continues to improve the living stands of Mexicans."

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