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Santos Reyes church in Metztitlán, an example of a religious tourism destination in Hidalgo. Santos Reyes church in Metztitlán, an example of a religious tourism destination in Hidalgo.

Hidalgo launches religion-focused tourism campaign

State has more than 10 municipalities with vast religious importance, tourism secretary says

Hidalgo has launched a tourism campaign that will focus on restoring and promoting the state’s most emblematic churches and monasteries.

While announcing the campaign yesterday, Interior Secretary Simón Vargas Aguilar explained that the focus on religion and history is a new stage of a broader tourism promotion program known as Magic Hidalgo.

Tourism Secretary Eduardo Baños Gómez spoke of the importance of religion-focused tourism in Hidalgo. “We have more than 10 municipalities with vast religious importance,” he said, with churches and monasteries built over 100 years ago.

He said the state welcomed almost 4 million visitors during the past Holy Week vacations, and a similar number is expected to attend the Xantolo festivities as the Day of the Dead is known in the Sierra and Huasteca regions of the state.

After the Magic Hidalgo program was launched last year, the state government reported it had received 8.5 million visitors who spent 2.5 billion pesos (US $132.6 million). Projections for this year anticipate an increase of about 10%.

The tourism program will promote places such as the Mapethé shrine and the Nicholas of Tolentino monastery and religious festivities such as the San Francisco and Our Lord of Miracles fairs. Top among these celebrations is the representation of the Stations of the Cross during Holy Week.

The restoration part of the tourism program entails an investment of 39.5 million pesos in 11 different buildings.

The interior secretary explained that the new campaign, as well as being the first of its kind in Mexico, will also be designed to boost economic development for families across Hidalgo, making the state “a pioneer at the national level.”

“It is important to promote the riches the state has in all of its corners,” he said.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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