The Pueblos Mágicos program will once again receive government funding after it was suspended late last year.
At a tourism fair in the city of Zacatecas on Wednesday, Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco Marqués announced that each of Mexico’s 121 Pueblos Mágicos — or magical towns — will receive 2.5 million pesos (US $131,000) from state and federal governments over the next year.
The funding, which will be split between the two levels of government, totals 302.5 million pesos (US $15.8 million), rather less than the 586 million pesos provided by the government in 2018.
The funds are intended to improve buildings and roads, as well as for beautification efforts like street sweeping and painting. Torruco said that the funding will start in the middle of this year.
“We’re going to paint all of the Pueblos Mágicos in coordination with state and municipal governments, and you will see our Pueblos Mágicos become more beautiful over the course of this year and the first half of next year,” he said. “And we are also working on other projects, like complementary tourism products. There will be good news very soon.”
Torruco added that based on the first 150 days of the López Obrador administration, Mexico is the seventh-most-visited country by international tourists, and that between January and March of this year, 11.1 million tourists visited Mexico, a 4.8% increase compared with the same period in 2018.
As part of the federal government’s austerity policy, funding was suspended late last year for the Program for Sustainable Regional Tourism Development and Pueblos Mágicos, provoking complaints from local authorities who rely on the funds for infrastructure maintenance and improvement. The designation of new magical towns was also suspended.
The Pueblos Mágicos program was founded in 2001 to promote tourism in the cities and towns recognized as having unique cultural and historical attributes.