President Enrique Peña Nieto and Xi Jinping of China

The number of Chinese tourists visiting Mexico has increased 362 percent in the last seven years, from 10,569 in 2005 to 47,810 in 2012. China is now the 20th largest source of visitors to Mexico, and the second-largest source of tourists from Asia – trailing only Japan. Between 2011 and 2012, Chinese travel to Mexico rose by 29.6 percent, the highest recorded increase by any Asian country. Recent figures have been even more promising. Between January and April 2013, Chinese tourist arrivals to Mexico increase of 35.1 percent over the same period last year.

Mexican Secretary of Tourism Claudia Ruiz Massieu recently traveled to China to meet with officials of the National Tourism Administration of China (CNTA), headed by its Chairman Shao Qiwei. Mexico is seeking to promote Mexico as a tourism destination throughout Asia, including China. At the suggestion of Ruiz Massieu, she and her Chinese tourism counterparts agreed to propose to their governments that 2015 be  declared the Year of Mexico-China Tourism.



The Pop Culture Travel Guide Jaunted has made a bold prediction that Why Veracruz, Mexico Will Have a Place on 'Hot Spot' Lists for 2014. Jaunted noted that “Anyone who has actually been to Mexico in the past few years knows the majority of the places are safe, filled with friendly people, and packed with a hell of a lot of culture.”

False information regarding safety in Mexico sways many away from traveling to the country with one of the world’s friendliest cultures. Those who choose to be realistic about safety misconceptions can take advantage of Mexico’s many attractive qualities.

The city of Veracruz has much appeal, including its lack of “touristy” qualities and its proximity to the outdoors. Mexico’s highest peak and the third-highest in North America, Pico de Orizaba (18,491 ft), is located about two hours from the Veracruz coast. There is only one resort in Veracruz and otherwise the land is completely undeveloped. The city is a perfect place to immerse oneself in true Mexican culture and locals embrace kind conversation with plenty of charm. Jaunted predicted that “those of us able to see through the dust cloud of media coverage understand that Mexico is one of the friendliest cultures around, and, to be honest, it is this incredible public misconception that makes Veracruz an even more attractive destination.”



President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, recently expressed his commitment to Mexico to be “a world tourism power” by announcing an investment of 8.63 billion dollars to improve the Mexican tourism sector. The investment will come from the National Tourist Business Council (CNET) and will create 28,097 direct jobs and 77,619 indirect jobs.

This sector is the third most important income of the Mexican economy and has suffered in recent years due to the country’s reputation, the H1N1 influenza and the global financial crisis of 2009.  The investment to this sector will carry out 176 projects (hotels, timeshares, airport infrastructure, restaurants, theme parks, golf courses, marinas, clinics, retirement communities) and will extend to 17 states with 27 tourist destinations.  

President Enrique Peña Nieto said, “The tourism industry generates a balanced sustainable development; it generates jobs especially for young people and women. It is also a safe route to the prosperous Mexico we have set as a national goal.”



Gerardo Llanes, chief marketing officer of The Mexico Tourism Board, recently unveiled the country’s new tourism slogan, “Mexico: Live It to Believe it” to the Mexico Tourism Summit. At an increase of about 10%, the Mexico Tourist Board will spend $43.3 million on promoting the country. Ads are intended to be, “unexpected, personal, surprising and emotional, with a focus on experience,” according to Llanes.

Llanes describes the ads as a “visual language made of memories.” One ad aims to rebrand Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit into “Vallarta Nayarit” and the other promotes Mexico City as a leisure destination. They are designed to trigger emotional responses from two target audiences; consumers ages 35 to 65 with a household income of $100,000-plus and ages 25-45 with a household income of $75,000. A preview shown to the Mexico Tourism Summit, an audience composed of 40 tour wholesalers, heads of travel agent groups and association leaders had an overwhelmingly favorable reaction.


Claudia Ruiz Massieu in China

Mexican Secretary of Tourism Claudia Ruiz Massieu recently traveled to China to meet with officials of the National Tourism Administration of China (CNTA), headed by its Chairman Shao Qiwei. Mexico is seeking to promote Mexico as a tourism destination throughout Asia, including China. At the suggestion of Ruiz Massieu, she and her Chinese tourism counterparts agreed to propose to their governments that 2015 be declared the Year of Mexico-China Tourism.

Both sides expressed their willingness to encourage airlines to Mexico and China to explore the market for air transport between the two countries, establish new direct flights, and improve travel links between the two nations.

Between 2011 and 2012, Chinese travel to Mexico rose by 29.6 percent the highest recorded increase by any Asian country. Recent figures have been even more promising. Between January and April 2013, Chinese tourist arrivals to Mexico increase of 35.1 percent over the same period last year.



Baja California is making efforts to increase medical tourism in their state. By offering medical services 40-60% cheaper than in other countries, Baja California captures the attention of tourists who seek various types of medical services.

Secretariat of Health certified physicians offer specialties in dentistry, optometry, sports medicine and surgery. A number of tourists come to Mexico to undergo cosmetic surgeries (liposuction, Botox application and gastric banding) and to purchase medications.

While hosting an annual average of 450,000 tourists, mostly from the U.S., Baja California earns a foreign exchange of US$89 million from those seeking medical services. The state is planning to promote medical tourism in the U.S. by investing $15 million pesos to attract 15 million tourists who will bring an estimated $8 million in additional resources to this sector annually. The increase of medical tourism in Baja California arises because of the affordability of health care compared to the United States, which represents a competitive advantage for the Mexican entity as well as new business development opportunities.



Mexico City is quickly becoming an international vacation destination. In 2012, the city experienced a 9% increase in international travelers from North America. This raised the number of total visitors to 12.5 million, with 3.1 million of these coming from outside of Mexico.

Visitors also remained in the city longer, taking advantage of the city’s 604 hotels and their 49,000-plus rooms. The hotel market continues to develop in Mexico City, where a new hotel has opened every month for the last three years.

Why is Mexico City experiencing such a boom in international leisure travel? Maurico Reyna, general director of Mexico City’s Tourism Promotion Institute, credits the “choice of accommodations, attractions, antiquities, and archaeological sites.”

The increase in tourism is part of a larger trend in Mexico City’s development. “Twenty years ago this was an old city,” Reyna said. “We’re growing again. We’ve recovered and have renovated.”

"Our visitor numbers in 2012 grew 9% from North America, helped by an increase in airlift from U.S. hubs," Reyna said during a Travel Weekly webinar last month. "Average spend also increased to $827 per visitor, and we've seen a longer length of stay in recent months."


Mexico City

With new infrastructure plans and rising international visits, Mexico’s tourism industry is an important and growing source of revenue. Tourism is currently Mexico’s fifth-biggest revenue area, and Mexican officials predict that in a few years tourism will contribute an even larger portion to the Mexican economy.

From 2011 to 2012 alone, Mexico’s tourism sector grew 10.5 percent generating $12.7 billion, according to a report by JP Morgan Chase & Co. Mexico is currently Latin America’s second biggest economy and received a record 24 million international visitors in 2012.

“Tourism is already one of the most important economic sectors for Mexico,” Tourism Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu said in an interview with Bloomberg New York. “We are confident that it can represent at least one percentage point more of GDP at the end of the administration and that we can become the third source of revenue at least.”

Tourists can expect to see some positive changes on their next visit to Mexico in the form of the government’s $23.3 billion investment plan to improve infrastructure, announced by Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto on June 20. With these plans, the Communications and Transportation ministry aim to alleviate congestion at the Mexico City airport and create easier, more convenient transportation connecting transportation hubs with more remote tourist destinations.



Apple Leisure Group, a U.S. tourism company, will invest $600 million in six tourism complexes in Jalisco, Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo, Mexico, which will increase the number of hotel rooms by 1,800, produce 4,000 additional jobs and generate more than $350 million, according to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The Apple investment will also expand hotel offerings in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta. The investment comes as tourism increases in Mexico, with the number of international tourists arriving by air rising 6.3% in the first quarter of 2013, compared to the prior-year period. "Mexico will become a world tourism power" via a strategy of "modernizing and repositioning" in the global market, Peña Nieto said.

Increasing tourism is one of Peña Nieto’s key strategies for the next five years. He also pledged to make tourism sustainable by focusing on responsible management of water resources and waste. Peña Nieto emphasized strengthening infrastructure and access, as well as improving waste management to increase the tourism sector's competitiveness.



Mexico’s tourism revenue is increasing, thanks to a surge of international travelers. In 2012, Mexico received 23 million international tourists and 178 million domestic tourists. The majority of tourists are traveling from the U.S. and Canada but others come from the UK, Spain and South America. Mexico’s tourism sector is the third largest source of foreign exchange earnings for the country. The tourism sector generates 9 percent of GDP and directly employs 2.5 million people. Foreign currency earnings generated by international visitors in Mexico registered an increase of 7.7 percent from $3.59 billion dollars in the first quarter of 2013, to $3.87 billion dollars, from January to March this year. Reports showed that the increase in foreign currency revenue is attributed to an increase in tourists who are flying to the county. Tourists entering the country via plane account for the largest average expense of traveling to Mexico. This increase in tourists, and the resulting increase in revenue, will allow for Mexico’s tourism sector to prosper.


Mazatlán is one of Mexico’s top travel destinations. The city on the Mexican Riviera has just had its best spring season ever and is poised to have a record breaking summer season.The London Financial Times recently named Mazatlán one of the Top 10 American Cities of the Future, rating it as Mexico's top medium-sized city in terms of its future economic expectations and cost effectiveness.

The increase in growing popularity is due to an overhaul of Mexico’s infrastructure. A new highway scheduled to open this fall will provide a safe, direct, high-speed land route between Mazatlán and the southwestern United States. The Mazatlán-Durango Highway is estimated to boost domestic tourism from 30,000 cars per year to around 1 million. The construction of the highway will generate increased commerce and international trade between the U.S. and Mexico and will ultimately increase tourism and business flow.

Additional reforms include negotiating agreements with airlines that will increase airlift by 40 percent, three major cruise lines returning to the Port of Mazatlán, and increased construction to double the current number of hotels and rooms. These upcoming improvements will greatly increase Mazatlán’s popularity as a travel destination hot spot.


Mexico China Tourism

Chinese president Xi Jinping enjoyed a visit to Mexico and the country hopes his recent visit will lead to an influx of Chinese tourists. Tourism is big business in Mexico. Last year it brought in an estimated $12.7 million from nearly 23 million foreign visitors. Of those tourists, just under 50,000 were from the world’s largest tourism spender, China. Mexico’s hope is to capitalize on this market to make China the no. 1 source of Asian travelers to their country. 

And, Chinese leader Xi trusts that some of the 400 million Chinese tourists will find Mexico’s ancient ruins and resort cities alluring. 

Mexico boasted a 35% spike in Chinese tourists in the first four months of the year. Still, the Tourism Department believes it can do more, such as increasing flights to China and adding Mandarin signs in key Mexican destinations. 

Jorge Hernandez also agrees that Mandarin should be present in key locations, and states that Mexican tour guides who speak Mandarin would be helpful. 

The ultimate goal is to make Chinese tourists feel welcome in Mexico, he adds. 



According to E-Tourism Monitor, the Mexico Tourism Board now ranks third in the world in Facebook likes. With approximately 965,000 likes on Facebook, Mexico is close behind the UK with 1.1 million likes Australia with 4.5 million. Social media is rapidly affecting the way citizens travel domestically, with significant numbers of users making travel decisions based on their friends’ social media activity. Uploading images, declarations of excitement, and easy access to websites for travel information; social media is fast becoming the market place for tourism interest and growth globally.

As the third most-liked national tourism organization on Facebook, Mexico is well on its way to achieving its tourism goals. Tourism accounts for 9 percent of the gross domestic product of Mexico and salaries in the tourism sector are 30 percent above the national average. President Enrique Peña Nieto has stated that "We will open Mexico to the world, and the world will visit Mexico. Tourism is a fundamental component of our economy and a key driver of national development." And Claudia Ruiz Massieu, Mexico's Secretary of Tourism, highlighted Mexico as a trendsetter in the global tourism industry. "I have no doubt that tourism is the future of Mexico. Under the President's leadership, tourism will be used as an engine to drive development for all Mexicans," she said.


El Chileno is One of Five Blue Flag Eco-Friendly Beaches in Mexico

Five Mexican beaches have been recognized as world-class eco-friendly destinations, according to the international environmental organization Blue Flag. According to a release from SEMARNAT, “These certifications show that Mexican beaches are able to compete with world-class destinations.”

The Blue Flag Beaches recognized in Mexico are Playa Chahué in Huatulco, Oaxaca; El Chileno in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur; Playa Delfines in Cancún; El Palmar in Zihuatanejo de Azueta, Guerrero; and Nuevo Vallarta Norte, in Bahía de Banderas, Nayarit. These beaches were selected by a panel of judges that included representatives from the United Nations Environmental Program and the World Tourism Organization.

The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-friendly designation. It has been awarded to more than 3800 beaches and marinas around the world. The Blue Flag works towards sustainable development of beaches and marinas through strict criteria dealing with Water Quality, Environmental Education and Information, Environmental Management, and Safety and Other Services. The Blue Flag Programme is owned and run by the non-government, non-profit organisation the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).



The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board has announced that the 9th annual edition of the Puerto Vallarta Restaurant Week will again take place from May 15 to the 31st. Cities around the world, from New York to London, set aside a week or two each year to encourage visitors and locals to experience the taste and ambiance of their restaurants.

For this year’s edition the Restaurant Week will enjoy the participation of 35 restaurants, with seven of them participating for the first time. Established in 2005 by Grupo Editorial Vallarta Lifestyles, Restaurant Week is a two-week event in which during the festival all participant restaurant of Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit will introduce a special three-course menu, with three options to choose from for each course, at a reduced price.

This year’s participating restaurants are Cafe des Artistes, Le Kliff, La Leche, La Palapa, Vista Grill, Barcelona Tapas, Archie´s Wok, Trío, Vitea, Blanca Blue, Coco Tropical, Daiquiri Dicks, De Santos, Boca DOS stk, El Arrayán, Cocos Kitchen, Hacienda San Angel, La Bodeguita del Medio, Rancho 3 Puertas, Las Casitas, Ginger Garden Lounge, Porto Bello, River Cafe, Taste Restaurant, Prime 169, Nicksan, Tratoria Michel, Sí Señor, and The Blue Shrimp. Each restaurant assigns a price for their meal, and it will range from $199.00 to $299.00 pesos, depending on the restaurant.

$189 pesos

$299 Pesos


Puerto Vallarta