Ruck, Maul, Mezcal: Oaxaca Hosts Rugby Tournament in November #oaxacatoday, originally uploaded by planeta.
We see it every time we are in Mexico; families traveling, filling the shopping malls, dining out – all the signs of a growing middle-class. Why don’t we hear more about this in the media instead of the cartel drumbeat? Thank you Forbes Magazine for this right-on perspective with facts to support it.
State of Guerrero Launches Campaign to Promote Its Top Tourism Destinations to the International Market
PR Newswire ACAPULCO, Mexico, Oct. 9, 2012 — The Acapulco Destination Marketing Office is pleased to announce its involvement in the “Sun Triangle,” a tourism initiative launched by the State of Guerrero to position and promote its top tourist destinations – Acapulco, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Taxco – on an international level.
One of the major efforts put forth by the State of Guerrero as part of the “Sun Triangle” campaign is the sponsorship of Mexican NASCAR driver, Daniel Suarez, who debuted his car and uniform with the official Acapulco and “Sun Triangle” logos at the New Hampshire NASCAR Pro Series race on September 22. He will be sporting the logo for his next three races in the United States, taking place on October 13, November 3 & 10 as well as in Chihuahua on October 28 and in Mexico City on November 11.
The Secretary of Tourism of the State of Guerrero, Mr. Javier Aluni Montes, announced the promotional campaign with NASCAR is one of the many projects that Governor of Guerrero, Angel Aguirre Rivero, is pursuing to introduce the “Sun Triangle” destinations to a high-income market in the United States and abroad. “By sponsoring Daniel Suarez, the “Sun Triangle” campaign has the opportunity to reach the over 75 million NASCAR fans in the United States, which is one of our most important international markets,” said Mr. Aluni. “The races will be broadcast in 150 countries, further extending the potential reach of the campaign, and each race expects to have an average of 200,000 people in attendance.”
A magical combination of incredible beauty and hypnotic charm, Acapulco is Mexico’s largest and most dazzling seaside resort attracting over nine million visitors annually. Acapulco is exotic yet easily accessible by direct or convenient connections via all major airline carriers from gateway cities across the U.S. For more information about Acapulco, visit rememberacapulco.com.
“What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism” ~ Albert Einstein
Tis almost the season… whale season that is. Mexico and marine life have a very specific bond, and there are few places where it is felt more strongly than along the coasts of the Baja Peninsula. With the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Sea of Cortés on the other, this is one of the best locations anywhere to witness nature’s magnificent wonders. The Sea of Cortés is one of the world’s unique ocean environments, and is considered by some to be the most biologically rich body of water on earth. In late December through the end of March, it also happens to be one of the premiere whale watching destinations in the world.
RED Sustainable Travel makes its home in La Paz, which means “peace” in Spanish. This is the capital of the state of Baja California Sur and is the second largest city south of Tijuana on the Baja Peninsula. La Paz is also arguably the ecotourism capital of North America. Just outside the city itself are countless deserted beaches, calm bays and ecologically pure offshore islands. The region’s complex wildlife, plant life, and geology are truly astonishing. More than 850 species of marine life make their home in its temperate waters. Colonies of sea lions, pods of Humpback, Blue, Sperm, Fin and seasonal migrating Gray whales are a very common site.
Each year an estimated 12,000 of the world’s 21,000 Gray whales make a 6,000-mile journey to bear their calves in the warm waters of the Pacific lagoons to the north of Los Cabos. From there, many continue south, veering around the tip of the Baja into the crystal waters of the Sea of Cortés. Here they find peace and freedom and provide whale-watchers with incredible thrills. At birth, the pacific gray whale is approximately 15 feet long. As adults, their average length can be from 40 to 46 feet (about the same as a Greyhound bus!), and they can weigh up to 35 tons. They spend their summers northwest of Alaska in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas before making their way toward Mexico for the winter. The journey to Mexican waters is a lengthy trip for the gray whales that travel in pods as small as three whales and as large as sixteen members. Though they only swim at about five miles per hour, they are extremely agile. Diving as deep as 500 feet, they can stay under water for up to 30 minutes. Since they are mammals and surface to breathe, they have two blowholes near the top of their heads. You can hear them spouting from nearly a half a mile away and the stream of water shooting from their blowhole can rise 10-13 feet above the surface.
In the sheltered lagoons of the Baja, the calves learn survival skills and gain strength by swimming against the ocean currents flowing into the calmer waters. The calves weigh around 3,000 pounds and are about 19 feet long when they are ready to leave. RED’s whale tours take place in Magdalena Bay, which is one of the most famous breeding lagoons in the area and it’s not uncommon for the “friendlies,” as they’re called, to approach the small boats (“pangas”) of whale watchers. The sweet-tempered leviathans often approach the boats and welcome a gentle rub from humans… truly extraordinary. It’s an encounter with nature not easily duplicated. The Magdalena Bay area comprises the largest wetland ecosystem on the west coast of the Baja California Peninsula and is considered one of the most important in North America. The Bay not only provides a vital calving area for the Gray whale, but is also feeding grounds for several species of endangered marine turtles. There are mangrove forests, barrier beaches and sand dune islands, contributing to the incredible scenery and diverse biological makeup of the zone. The Bay harbors the continent’s northernmost breeding colony of magnificent frigate, the southernmost breeding site for threatened bald eagles, a large nesting colony of the endangered California brown pelican, and one of the largest California sea lion colonies on the Pacific coast of the peninsula.
There are a number of tour operators in the area, but RED takes a particularly unique approach to nature-based travel. According to their website, “RED Sustainable Travel was founded in 2009 upon the idea that conservation and socioeconomic well-being go hand in hand. Since its founding, the RED project has shattered paradigms, changed lives, and created natural resource stewards in rural communities throughout northwest Mexico. RED takes conservation projects – such as sea turtle monitoring – and turns them into Conservation Adventures, along the way creating sustainable economic alternatives (to poaching, for instance) to local communities along northwest México. As part of these efforts, RED fosters direct support for conservation work and community development (such as cash or volunteer time), and promotes a model of tourism for the region based on natural resource preservation.”
RED works with TourRadar (a social platform for organized group tours) to offer the upcoming GRAY WHALE AND SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION ADVENTURE. This is one not to be missed and incorporates working with the sea turtles as well. (Five species of sea turtle are at home along the Baja peninsula. This area provides both nesting habitat and vital feeding grounds for turtles from as far away as Japan and Indonesia.)
Description: This tour will start and end in La Paz. Experience the wonder of the gray whales, on this 5-day expedition in scenic Magdalena Bay on the Pacific coast of the Baja California peninsula where come to mate and give birth to their calves before returning north towards the Bering Sea. You will also take part in a sea turtle conservation project recognized around the world as a model for community based conservation. From your secluded base camp on a tiny shell island, learn about the importance of the green sea turtle’s survival and the role local fishermen play in the species’ recovery, before heading out in pangas to capture and release turtles after recording vital data.
Activities: Gray whales, Sea turtle monitoring, mangrove exploration, dune hikes, cultural interaction, bird watching, star gazing, gourmet cuisine. For more information and trip details visit: http://www.tourradar.com/t/45256
TourRadar is the social platform for organized group tours. We help travelers search & compare 27,772 organized group tours visiting 220 countries of the world as well as helping them meet and engage with other people in their groups before the tour departs. By using our online tools (search, compare, reviews, meet) travelers can better inform themselves before making critical purchasing decisions about the organized group tour that suits their needs. Since launching 2 years ago, TourRadar has evolved into the leading cloud based platform for businesses in the tour industry providing cost effective access to Web, Facebook, Android and iPhone Apps that reach and engage travelers.
I want to introduce you to Stacy Taylor, a friend of mine. Stacy has spent most of his adult life in radio as a talk-show host. He’s one of the best in the business, having had good runs in San Diego, Chicago, and most recently San Francisco. Stacy couldn’t do the right-wing scream that dominates the airwaves. He’s way too smart and independent for that, so he’s in Mexico, a place he has always like. In fact, that is how we got to know each other about 17 years ago when I was publishing the Mexico File and he had a top-rated show in San Diego. He graciously had me on his show a few times.
Well, the radio biz has changed in recent years and Stacy is now living in Rosarito Beach in Baja, just about 30 miles south of the border on the West Coast. I wanted you to read some of his thoughts that he posts on his blog. I have the feeling that Stacy will be migrating from radio to writing, and if you read this piece you’ll see why.
By: Lisa Coleman
For most people, Mexico is about beaches, sunsets and margaritas. For others, Mexico is about archeology, history and culture. Mexico is certainly all of those things, but it also happens to be one the world’s five richest countries in terms of biological diversity. Its land is a remarkable mosaic of ecosystems ranging from northern arid deserts and an interior filled with pine forests and snow-capped mountains, to tropical jungles dominating the south. (Not to mention more than 6,000 miles of coastline!) This means that it’s time to skip the tequila and put on your hiking boots.
Adventure travel is stepping into Mexico’s tourism spotlight and making a huge impact. Nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts can now discover a new realm of possibilities. In terms of ecological and adventure tourism, Mexico is really beginning to take some notable strides steps. In the last decade, Mexico has tripled the amount of acreage set aside for protected land. There are now over 18 million acres of ecological preserves, including 44 national parks, 24 biosphere reserves, 111 protected areas, and a substantial number of national marine parks.
Last month, Mexico hosted ATMEX, the first international trade and consumer adventure travel fair featuring the country’s top adventure travel tour operators and destinations. This exciting event was held in Boca del Rio, Veracruz, at the World Trade Center in conjunction with Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), the world’s leading adventure tourism trade organization. According to ATTA, this event was “born out of the 2011 Adventure Travel World Summit at which Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón emphatically supported responsible adventure tourism development for the nation, and the event quickly established itself as one of the most important annual travel events in Latin America. A dynamic business-to-business marketplace, featuring more than 150 of Mexico´s top quality operators, it gave attendees a taste of the undiscovered, untapped and distinct products available to adventure travelers to Mexico. ”
Mexican Secretary of Tourism Gloria Guevara Manzo kicked off the event with a speech in Catemaco, Veracruz. She discussed the importance of adventure travel and how quickly it is becoming a contender in Mexico’s already dynamic travel industry. She emphasized, “The average leisure stay in Mexico is 5 days, but for adventure travelers the average stay is 8 days.” Moving into the future, Secretary Guevara made it clear that Mexico will continue to support and expand its dedication to adventure tourism.
Throughout the event, keynote speakers addressed a packed house. Shannon Stowell, President of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), opened the main event discussing the adventure travel industry as a whole. He also stressed the importance and impact this kind of travel has on local communities. He explained, “When travelers stay in an all-inclusive resort, only about 10% of the revenues from their stay goes to the local community, whereas for adventure travelers, the figure is 65%. While general travel is experiencing a growth of 4%, adventure tourism is growing at 16%.”
Adventurer Carlos Carsolio, a mountaineer, and the first Mexican climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest, also gave an intriguing keynote speech. Mountaineers and non-mountaineers alike were riveted by his accounts of his adventures. His words were motivating, and had everyone one in the room dreaming of the summit.
I was particularly impressed with J. Wallace Nichols, a renowned marine biologist and turtle expert and founder and director of Ocean Revolution (an international network of young ocean advocates). Though an American with fairly limited language skills, he chose to give his speech in Spanish. (He did a great job!) He offered an extraordinary and personal look at the importance of conservation, the ocean and the natural beauty throughout Mexico and the world. “He works to inspire a deeper connection with nature” through his foundations, which also include SEEtheWILD.org, a conservation travel network and LiVBLUE.org, a global campaign to reconnect us to our water planet.
The event closed with a heartfelt and powerful speech by Martha Isabel Ruiz Corzo, founder of Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG). She is a passionate and dedicated advocate for utilizing community participation to establish a “new paradigm” in the management of protected areas. She strives “to respond locally to global crisis” and works toward a “carbon neutral planet.” Señora Corzo is “dedicated to meeting the three challenges of climate change today: reducing people´s impact, preserving biodiversity, and strengthening rural community livelihoods.”
In addition, there were ongoing seminars happening throughout the day to help educate the tour operators about everything from social media to understanding advertising. The trade show floor hosted colorful booths and was stocked with any and all information imaginable on destinations and tours available for adventurers of all levels.
ATMEX will undoubtedly become a mainstay event in Mexico. If you have an opportunity to attend in 2013, I would encourage you to go and learn about the incredible possibilities for adventure travel in Mexico.