Cancun. Los Cabos. Acapulco. These are the big three that come to mind when US travelers flock south to shed coats and scarves in exchange for frosty cervezas on the beach. And while they are tried and true Mexican standbys, rife with sun, surf and sand, we have our eye on two destinations that will bring more variety to a Mexico getaway in 2014.
Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit
Sitting on Mexico's Pacific Coast, Puerto Vallarta in the state of Jalisco and its neighbor Riviera Nayarit in the state of Nayarit are two destinations that are sure to increase in popularity in 2014. First and foremost, Aeromexico is adding new seasonal service between New York City and Puerto Vallarta (which is the same airport for Riviera Nayarit) as of January 16. Additionally, new air service on scheduled and charter flights will increase routes to Puerto Vallarta International Airport from Lansing, St. Louis, Rockford, New York, Philadelphia,Chicago, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Denver, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg. As a result, an estimated 105,000 new seats are expected to come online within the next year.
Last year, the Mexico Tourism Board kicked off its $10 million advertising campaign to educate travelers about Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. Tourism representatives from Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit were on location in New York City to talk about what's new in the destinations for 2014. In 2013 an investment of $70 million had been poured into Riviera Nayarit to develop new hotels along the coast.
Already home to a slew of high-end hotels (think Four Seasons and St. Regis), Riviera Nayarit is picking up interest among other mass market brands such as Iberostar, which debuted its first Mexican Pacific Coast hotel last month. The hotel has 452 rooms, most with ocean views, including 120 Oceanfront Junior Suites, 18 adult-only Spa Rooms, two Presidential Suites and four handicap accessible rooms. For leisure and relaxation time, among other services, there is the SPA Sensations and a Championship 18-hole golf course. The property is Wi-Fi-accessible throughout. There is a variety of dining options, including an international buffet, as well as four themed restaurants: Gourmet, Japanese, Steak House and Mexican. There is also an exclusive SeaSoul bar with ocean views, as well as seven other bars placed throughout the resort. Geared towards both couples and families, the hotel has a Splash Park aqua park and a separate kids' pool, as well as a Miniclub for children aged four to 12 and a Teenclub for teenagers 13 to 17.
Puerto Vallarta has launched an updated website as part of its latest effort to take advantage of the trends in the digital world. Visitors to the new site will find that the new www.visitpuertovallarta.com features a complete new layout designed to peruse while obtaining information and using tools to help guide consumers to plan and book their vacations. The new site will also be 100 percent smart phone friendly, Retina display ready, and offer the opportunity for content to be shared via all popular forms of Social Media. Content management system tools will also allow users to upload information to the site to share with visitors to the site and a Blog section will provide a platform for the destination to publish different campaign promotions the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board is undertaking.
Additionally, the Mexico Tourism Board launched a $10 million advertising campaign to promote the experiences offered in Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta. The initiative is not a rebranding; the joint campaign named “Vallarta - Nayarit. Live it to Believe it!” was created to increase the influx of tourism to both destinations. Each destination will continue to be branded individually and the goal is to increase visitors to each of the destinations in an effort to incur an annual influx of $100 million dollars.
The new advertising campaign has already generated concrete results. Based on the commitments and partnerships with airlines, such as Delta and Transat, and tour operators, Funjet and Apple Vacations, new air service on scheduled and charter flights will increase routes to Puerto Vallarta International Airport from Lansing, St. Louis, Rockford, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Denver, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg. As a result, an estimated 105,000 new seats are expected to come online within the next year. The airport serves both destinations since the state of Nayarit is just 10 minutes from this important international gateway.