2008 Rural Tourism Fair Includes Oaxaca Options Information Exchange

by Ron Mader

OAXACA CITY — Amigos del Sol Language School and Planeta.com host the Oaxaca Options Information Exchange Saturday January 26 from 10am-noon.

The exchange is a feature of the annual Rural Tourism Fair. Access is free. Locals and travelers have access to current brochures and flyers documenting rural travel and tourism services.

The meeting point (punto de encuentro) is Instituto Amigos del Sol, Pino Suárez #802. The info exchang takes place Saturday January 26 from 10am-noon. (poster)

Launched in 2001, the Oaxaca Options series encourages colleagues to share lessons learned in developing tourism that supports natural and cultural diversity. The biggest event of the year is the Rural Tourism Fair.
2008

2008 marks a profound change in the format of the fair. In previous years, exhibitors would provide samples and photos of their products and services in a large patio. This year, the fair has less space, so to make the most of the event, a change was made.

“If we did not have the physical space to conduct the fair as a marketplace or tianguis of ideas, then we decided to expand the event in terms of time,” said co-host Ron Mader of the Planeta.com website. “Focusing on rural tourism, it only made sense to include events in nearby villages. One of the highlights of the fair is the information exchange showing locals and travelers alike their options for responsible travel in Oaxaca using Amigos del Sol as a hub.”

“Amigos del Sol is pleased to host the event,” said Rogelio Ballesteros, director of Instituto Amigos del Sol. “We had to move to a new location, but our commitment to Oaxaca and to visitors remains the same.”

The 2008 Rural Tourism Fair includes a celebration of Aboriginal tourism from Australia and rural tourism and ecotourism in New Zealand. Highlights include a trade show organized by Aboriginal Tourism Australia and Manaki Whenua, Manaki Tangata, Haere whakamua, photos from the West Coast of New Zealand by photographer Tom Walter.

Mexico a Hotspot for Meetings and Conventions in 2008

By: MP News Staff

MEXICO TOURISM BOARD AND PCMA SIGN A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP IN SEATTLE

Washignton D.C.– With the city of Seattle as a backdrop, the Mexico Tourism Board and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) are consolidating its strategic partnership for 2008.

This strategic partnership has as a main objective to create a top-of-mind brand awareness for Mexico with PCMA members. “This is an important step for increasing the visibility of Mexico as a premium meeting destination among the members of PCMA” says Oscar Fitch , CEO of the Mexico Tourism Board.

“Over the past few years, Mexico has worked diligently in modernizing our infrastructure, professionalizing the industry and enhancing our sites to offer a business friendly environment. We are ready to host meetings of any size, on any specialty, matching the needs of the meeting planners and associations; the strategic partnership with PCMA is only the beginning”, concludes Fitch.

According to the most recent statistics, 50% of PCMA members hold meetings outside the U.S. and 30% of them will consider holding a meeting in Mexico. Currently only 12.5% of the meetings and conventions organized by American associations and companies are held in Mexico, proving that the meetings and conventions industry has a promising future in Mexico.

During the PCMA Annual Meeting being held in Seattle, WA, executives from the Mexico Tourism Board and PCMA will strengthen their already successful business relationship. With the strategic partnership, PCMA members will have a rainbow of possibilities at their disposal in terms of destinations, venues, sites and cultural settings for their coming meetings. At the same time, the Mexico Tourism Board will gain access to valuable information that will better help them to serve their meetings and conventions sector. “For us, it is important to have access to data bases on trends and perceptions of meeting planners in order to present them the advantages that Mexico has to offer”, adds Eduardo Chaillo, Director of the Strategic Business Unit of the Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) in Washington, DC.

Mexico has infrastructure and facilities capable for hosting large conventions as well board meetings with the invaluable difference of the hospitality and warmth of its people. Mexico is becoming “the place to be” for this industry segment because of its wonderful meeting space, the attractiveness of tax incentives and the diversity offered by exclusive venues in magical sites.

8th annual rural tourism fair videos show Oaxaca’s best

Oaxaca, Mexico – Presenting the first two videos from the 2008 Rural Tourism Fair prepared by Erick Igari. The first video documents the web training workshops conducted in Oaxaca City.

The second video documents the walk around Santa Maria del Tule with visits
to the indigenous Mixe craft store Ayuuk and the Chinanteco restaurant Caldo
de Piedra.

Also – Ahuehuetes of Santa Maria del Tule, a walk around town in search of
the famous Tule Tree’s extended family.

Today – Walk with the Weavers in Teotitlan del Valle! Our motto: think smart, travel slow.

More videos later this week. The Oaxaca Options Information Exchange takes place Saturday morning at Amigos del Sol. Full details and an updated agenda online
http://oaxaca.wikispaces.com

MexicoTRAVELER Magazine HAS LAUNCHED!!

By Lola

We are so proud!!! We just have to gush: our very good friend and colleague, Mayté Rodríguez-Cedillo, has really outdone herself this time. We can’t get enough of this grand, beautifully-designed, absolutely GORGEOUS MEXICOTRAVELER – way, way chic! Of course, Jennifer López has a way of bringing that to whatever she does, and she does it just fine right here. Mayté: your photographer is amazing. Can we get him to take our profile photos??? We’d give JLo a run for her money… LOL!

We’ll leave you with the release so you can get all the proper details, but we just had to say WAY TO GO, MAYTE!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

______________________________________________

MexicoTRAVELER™ Magazine, a sister publication of BajaTRAVELER® Magazine, has just rolled out its inaugural Collectors’ Annual Issue. A full-color premium glossy, MexicoTRAVELER™ Magazine targets the svelte and sophisticated traveler who savors the best of culture, cuisine, real estate and much more.

“I am so excited! It has been a long journey… but it’s finally here! This is the year for MexicoTRAVELER™ both the print and digital version,” says Mayté Rodríguez-Cedillo, Publisher, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief. “The spotlight is on Mexico and it is considered to be one of the best destination markets by seasoned travelers around the world.” MexicoTRAVELER™ Magazine will meet the needs of the international traveler looking for the best of Mexico. Plus, the online version – www.mexmagazine.com -ensures a worldwide 24/7 accessibility and presence.

MexicoTRAVELER™ covers the rich diversity that is Mexico and brings the best of Mexico to the discerning international traveler and businessperson. An added feature is that both magazines offer articles translated into six languages – English, Spanish, Italian, German, French, and Japanese – for the global readership.

MexicoTRAVELER™ spotlights the Best of Mexico by bringing together beautiful people and beautiful places in a way that has never been done before. Each issue brings texture and dimension to travel, highlighting the culture, colors and flavors of Mexico, along with trends and influential people. The magazine is distributed to the finest — targeting and reaching leaders and professionals in all different fields as well as affluent international readers. MexicoTRAVELER™ Magazine ensures presence by focusing on the highest-profile events and people that are shaping and impacting the Mexican landscape.

The premiere edition provides premium destination coverage for: ACAPULCO, JALISCO STATE, MANZANILLO, MEXICO CITY, OAXACA STATE, PUERTO VALLARTA, RIVIERA MAYA and RIVIERA NAYARIT.

MexicoTRAVELER Magazine HAS LAUNCHED!!

Guacamole Dip: From Baja Tales of Love, Faith…and Magic

Press Release.   Recommended by Mexico Pemiere

ACCLAIMED BAJA AUTHOR HAS NEW BOOK

Daniel Reveles, author of three critically-acclaimed short-story collections, returns with another spicy dish in Guacamole Dip: From Baja…tales of love, faith—and magic. The beloved Tecate author has written some unusual stories in this collection, and added many new characters, too. But he also brings back a few old friends, like Treenie Contreras, Jack of All Trades, and the new book features many of the beloved, familiar settings—the plaza, La Fonda, the surrounding ranches.Born in Los Angeles to Mexican-born parents, Reveles has been in some part of the entertainment industry since he was seventeen—as a recording artist, songwriter, television producer, documentary film director, and disc jockey. He stumbled into the Baja California border town of Tecate nearly thirty years ago, and has lived there ever since.

His previous books include Enchiladas, Rice and Beans, Salsa and Chips and Tequila, Lemon, and Salt, which won a ForeWord magazine Book-of-the-Year Award, and won Reveles the coveted Theodore Geisel award for “Best of the Best” at the San Diego Book Awards in 2005. www.danielreveles.com , www.sunbeltpub.com

Boca de Iguanas: New Eco-Chic Hotel On the Costalegre

By MP News Staff

Habitación Boca de IguanasMANZANILLO, Mexico – Boca de Iguanas boutique hotel is now open for business, and plans to dazzle guests with its cool concept of rustic, eco-chic meets modern day contemporary, adventure hideaway.

The stylish 12-room escape, found on a pristine beach along Mexico’s Costalegre, offers the perfect blend of modernity and rusticity inspired by the magical natural surroundings of this ecologically sound development. Rooms feature bedspreads and pillows with bold, geometric prints, plush bathrobes and extra large bath sheets, air conditioning and overhead fans, and flat screen plasma televisions with U.S. Dish network satellite channels. But reminders of Mother Nature are everywhere: handcarved tree trunk tables, baskets woven from coconut palm husks, all natural soaps and shampoos, and indoor/outdoor living spaces that surprise and amaze.

PoolRoom names reflect nature, as well as their unique differences: “Selva Suite” (meaning jungle) features an outdoor soaking Jacuzzi tub hidden along the edge of the mangrove estuary, and “Palmas” overlooks a stand of coconut palms. Guests in “Agua” luxuriate in an oversized Jacuzzi tub, while “Noche” invites guests to climb a spiral wooden staircase to a terrace and bed under an awning of celestial stars by night, or an incredible blue sky during the day.

Located 40 minutes north of Manzanillo International Airport (ZLO), the multi-use development of Boca de Iguanas broke ground in Fall 2006 on 18 acres of prime beach real estate. Boca de Iguanas represents a fusion of Mexican architecture, incorporating classic colonial hacienda elements in the Spanish mission-inspired Pueblo, contemporary modern design in Entre Palmeras, and eclectic “jungle-chic” rustic areas dedicated to Mother Nature.

Open this January are a beach club with infinity edge swimming pool, and an al fresco restaurant and bar under a soaring palapa overlooking a cream sand beach. Rustic eco-chic cabanas hidden in the hills, along with a holistic wellness spa featuring healing therapies and yoga are also in the works for 2008.

Boca de Iguanas at NightThursday night bonfires under the stars allow guests to revisit their childhood with marshmallow roasting and s’mores making, but also without sacrificing necessary comforts: full bar service is available to the canvass folding chairs with warm blankets which ring the fire. Guests with an itch for adventure can join the onsite biologist during turtle season (October to March) during her nightly patrols of the Boca de Iguanas beach to help recover and relocate precious sea turtle eggs to the safety of the onsite turtle camp, where they are protected from predators until they hatch and are released at dusk into the frothing sea.

For wine-lovers, the “cava de vinos” will feature an expansive selection of 400 choice labels from Argentinean Merlots to Californian Cabernets and Australian Shirazes. The onsite organic fruit and vegetable garden will provide much of the harvest served at Dos Higueras restaurant – flavored with selections from the community herb garden – and will also boast an array of healthy choices based upon a low calorie spa menu. Signature dishes include the Boca de Iguanas “Surf ‘n Turf” trilogy featuring garlic shrimp, juicy filet mignon with ancho chile vinaigrette and fresh fish of the day smothered in almond sauce; Artichoke hearts with Chipotle Mornay sauce; or fresh shrimp with spicy aioli sauce.

Rates start at $240 US/night and include a hot, fresh made-to-order breakfast under the palm trees and daily happy hour cocktails. Reserve directly online at www.bocadeiguanas.com or call toll free 1-888-508-2405.

Imagine yourself here…

Newspapers Cut Mexico Coverage

by David Simmonds

By now it is no secret that print-format newspapers are in trouble. As advertisers flock to the web, major dailies throughout the country are cutting staff as well as their focus on how they cover news. The newspaper business has long been a high-profit endeavor, creating some of America’s wealthiest and most influential families. In recent years they have been slow to accept the changing times, but now the inevitable is upon them. With declining revenues, the standard format model is changing, with some papers becoming “re-packagers” of news, eliminating the need for a full reporting staff. Most often, the first to go are the international reporters, as more emphasis is directed towards local and entertainment news.

The San Diego Union Tribune has eliminated their Mexico based correspondent, the San Antonio Express-news closed its Mexico City bureau, and the Houston Chronicle recalled a border reporter. The story is the same throughout the country. Presumably, the Mexico personnel cuts are specifically designed to cut costs. However, it should not be discounted that the personal danger to journalists in Mexico might be a factor, as well. Mexico has been the most dangerous Latin America country for scribes the past two years with seven of them being seriously murdered in 2006 and six more this past year. Reporting on corruption and the drug cartels has become very risky business, and the cost/benefit analysis probably doesn’t add up for the finance department suits. Some of you may ask “does it matter?” I say it does. Mexico is a close neighbor, and what happens there affects us here, even though the connection is not always obvious. As trans-border business increases every year and thousands of Americans and Canadians move to or buy vacation homes in Mexico, the thirst and necessity for south-of-the-border news becomes more essential.

I expect newspapers to be around for a long time, but not in the form we are used to. The morning paper with a cup of coffee is a daily ritual for many of us who have passed our 40th year. Firing up the computer and squinting at our home page to read the news does not provide the same comfort as reading your local paper’s headlines (before going to directly to the sports page). My son, who is thirteen, doesn’t get this sentiment, and therein lies the problem…and most certainly the future.