Mexico Secretary of Tourism Gloria Guevara Manzo recently met in London with executives from leading travel companies and airlines in the UK, who indicated that their frequency of travel to Mexico is set to increase.
Virgin Atlantic confirmed that from April 2013, the airline will increase by 50 percent the number of seats on its London-Cancun route, considered one of the most successful for the British company. Virgin Atlantic is also evaluating the opening of new flights to other Mexican tourist destinations.
Johan Lundgre, Deputy Chief Executive of TUI Travel, the world’s leading travel group which operates in 180 countries with more than 30 million clients, confirmed that the first Dreamliner 787 will reach Cancun next year, increasing the presence of this tour operator in Mexico.
In addition, important agreements were established towards generating a route to the Pacific with the same group, which will allow an increase in the number of visitors from the United Kingdom to Mexico.
Secretary Guevara also met in London with executives from the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), who shared the results of the global luxury tourism congress which was celebrated from October 1 to 3 in Riviera Maya.
Alison Gilmore, Director of the ILTM, said that the event was attended by over 300 buyers and exhibitors, who expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the destination, and confirmed that this influential forum will be held again in Mexico.
She said that the forum in Riviera Maya has been the most successful to date and it is anticipated that the next edition will double the number of attendees.
In London, the Secretary also participated in a panel organized by Visit Britain, the tourism office of the United Kingdom. In this forum, Christopher Rodriguez, head of Visit Britain, spoke of Mexico as a unique tourist destination, offering a variety of tourism sectors from culture, nature, and gastronomy to luxury and sun and sand.
The meeting also included the participation of Cathy Matos, Managing Director of Mexican Tours; Mark Stacey, Director of Cox & Kings Travel; Tony Plumm, of Special Holliday; Yves Hallaux Dutilli, of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce; as well as executives from Veloso Tour LTD, Solliman Travel, LATA and Steamond Travel.
Accompanied by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Tourism, Felix Gonzalez Canto; the Senator of Nayarit, Martha Elena Garcia, a member of the Tourism Commision; and Chief Operating Officer of the Mexico Tourism Board, Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete, Secretary Guevara also held meetings with Paul Potrykus of Rosewood Hotels, April Hutchinson of TTG Luxury, and Diarmuid Buckley of Langham Hotels, highlighting the major investment opportunities Mexico offers within the tourism sector.
She said that tourism is on the rise in Mexico, noting that in 2011 the country reached a record figure of 191.5 million domestic and international visitors; according to projections, this year will close with more than 200 million visitors.
Secretary Guevara also participated in the Ministers’ Summit of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), held during World Travel Market 2012; in this forum, she spoke in favor of promoting the facilitation of migration procedures towards increasing the number of tourists worldwide.
The Secretary of Tourism said that the current Mexican administration has advanced such actions as accepting a U.S. visa for the entry of international visitors to Mexico, as used by more than a million tourists since May 2010.
She noted that the streamlining of visas for citizens of Brazil, Russia, and China, who can now obtain the document in 24 hours; Mexico has also launched the Global Entry Program for trusted travelers between the U.S. and Mexico.
During the ministerial forum, Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, highlighted the work of the administration of President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa in promotion of tourism.
He said that he was the first leader to sign the Golden Book, a distinction that was awarded to Mexico for inserting into the national agenda concrete actions in favor of tourism.
The Ministers’ Summit of the World Tourism Organization addressed the theme of “Open Borders and Open Skies: Breaking Down Barrier to Travel,” and was attended by the Secretaries of Tourism of Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Africa and the UK.
Also attending were business leaders from Etihad, Travel Port, Tui Travel PLC and Ethiopian Airlines, as well as representatives of international organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).