Now that I have had a few days to recover from Tianguis Turistico, and to reflect on the four-day event, I have decided that Mexico does a hell of a good job of accomplishing their purpose – bringing everyone involved in Mexico tourism together to get some business done. Having attended these for about ten years now I’m not sure that I have ever seen as many one-on-one meetings taking place between buyers and sellers and a general enthusiasm amongst all attendees. Fellow Mexico Premiere ladies Lisa and Lola and I were amongst about 30 Americans and 13 Canadians who were invited by the Mexican government to attend press conferences and learn more about Mexico travel, with the hopes that we will help promote the country in the media. It’s an honor to be on the invitation list, and we take that responsibility seriously, but the truth is, we’re big Mexico fans and would be writing about the country anyway.
There was some grumbling from some of the press that our (media) importance has been diminished, that we aren’t as catered to as in the past, but for me I’m just happy to be there. I figure they owe me nothing, but instead I get a flight, an oceanfront hotel room with a great daily breakfast buffet overlooking one of the world’s most beautiful bays, and an ID badge to hang around my neck. We get a press room with computers and long distance phones and we learn more about Mexico travel. Did I mention parties and dinners every night where you can’t pay for a drink or food? No, I won’t complain about any of it. And neither should anyone else.
As for Mexico tourism and what we can expect this year: I think it’s safe to say that the travel industry is going to have some challenges everywhere. Airlines are suffering with higher fuel costs, and fewer people have travel money to fill more hotel rooms. Europeans are enjoying a strong currency and will help somewhat, but in general it should be a relatively slow year. Of course Mexico has some advantages that always help: great weather, beautiful beaches, a fascinating culture, old-world colonial towns, and simply the nicest people I have encountered. The country has had some bad press this past year to be sure, but unless you’re engaging in personal dealings with one of the drug cartels, you won’t be affected by the battles being waged.
My best advice for you if you are going to Mexico this year is to try something different. Look into the smaller boutique hotels for a change, many located in places you would not normally visit (see www.mexicoboutiquehotels.com), and check out the cheaper domestic airlines that have started in the past few years, servicing routes that the major carriers ignore. Or if you just want to sit, drink and chill, go back to that luxury resort on the beach and recharge. Just go.