Tianguis Roundtable: Up Close With Gerardo Llanes of the Mexico Tourism Board (VIDEO)

All week we're running the highlights from our recent roundtable discussion at Tianguis, which drew top tour operators, hoteliers and the Mexico Tourism Board together to discuss trends, market dynamics and the country’s very bright future for tourism. We've already taken a look at Mexico's stellar travel growth, the rise in celebration travel and where the future is headed. Here the Mexico Tourism Board's chief marketing officer gives us an update on the Board's plans. 

Gerardo Llanes, chief marketing officer of the Mexico Tourism Board, gave roundtable participants an update of the MTB’s current strategies. Of note is the fact that Mexico last year broke a record for tourist arrivals, welcoming almost 30 million tourists. Travelers also spent a record amount of money in Mexico.

Europeans love to dig a bit deeper into Mexico, Llanes said, noting that they love the Mayan World (such as Tulum, pictured here) in particular.
Europeans love to dig a bit deeper into Mexico, Llanes said, noting that they love the Mayan World (such as Tulum, pictured here) in particular.

The U.S. market, Mexico’s strongest, grew by 17.2 percent in 2014, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce, and that was on top of a 16.6 percent increase the previous year. Airline traffic grew 10 percent, on top of a nearly 20 percent increase the previous year. The Great Britain market is growing rapidly for Mexico (it’s now third after Canada), thanks to increased airlift and the fact that Brits are discovering the country’s unique offerings, on top of sun and sand. Colombia is also growing extremely rapidly, said Llanes.

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Llanes: “We’re trying to get more and more feedback, as well as the involvement of our partners in our marketing strategies.”
 
“We’re trying to get more and more feedback, as well as the involvement of our partners in our marketing strategies.”

“We’re excited to get the U.S. back into the rhythm we like to see it at; it’s our most important market,” said Llanes, noting that those participating in the roundtable are among the travel executives who can take credit for this growth. The MTB has shifted its strategy from a broad national campaign to one that attacks those segments that generate the highest revenue, such as adventure travel, golf, romance and multigenerational travel.

“We’ll keep the ‘Live It To Believe It’ campaign but we’re going to have specific ads for wedding, for adventure and for multigenerational travel in print, mainly,” he said.

Jumping back to the new strength of the Great Britain market, Llanes said growth is coming from new flights into Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Mexico City. “Besides that, we’ve started to realize that the Brits have a taste for all things Mexico; they didn’t really know much about it.” The MTB recently launched a mobile pavilion for Mexico, which was on display in London. Over the course of 10 days, 35,000 people went to see it, said Llanes. Of that 35,000, only 35 percent had visited Mexico but after they visited the pavilion, their intent to travel to Mexico grew to about 95 percent.

Europeans love to dig a bit deeper into Mexico, he said, noting that they love the Mayan World in particular and are willing to travel to those cultural destinations that offer those sites.

 

Stay tuned to www.travelagentcentral.com for more highlights from our Tianguis roundtable all week.

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