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Mérida will host next year's big tourism marketing event, Tianguis Turístico. Mérida will host next year's big tourism marketing event, Tianguis Turístico.

Private sector readies tourism marketing agency after feds pull out

Privately funded agency will begin operating later this year

The private sector will assume responsibility for marketing Mexico as a tourism destination in light of the federal government’s decision to disband the Tourism Promotion Council (CPTM).

A new privately funded tourism marketing agency will start operations later this year, the president of the Confederation of Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism (Concanaco) said yesterday.

José Manuel Campos said that a range of organizations and companies from the tourist sector will be invited to participate in the formation and running of the agency.

“It’s an effort that must be done together to promote Mexico as a country . . .” he said.

However, Campos didn’t reveal the size of the budget that the new organization will have.

The government’s decision to disband the CPTM shortly after it took office last December has been widely criticized by members of the tourism and business sectors, including Mexican Employers Federation (Coparmex) chief Gustavo de Hoyos, who said it “makes you think that tourism has stopped being a priority.”

Tourism academic Gerardo Herrera and the president of the Latin America Culture and Tourism Association (ACTUAL), Armando Bojórquez, partially attributed a decline in international tourism to Cancún in January to a lack of promotion.

“I believe that there is a perception that tourism will just happen and that’s not right. No product sells itself, it needs advertising,” Herrera said.

However, creating a new marketing agency won’t be easy, according to the vice-president of tourism company Grupo Xcaret, because it will entail bringing together a wide range of different viewpoints about tourism and how Mexico should be marketed.

“All business people would have to agree [on a marketing strategy] . . . and that’s a culture that doesn’t exist, there’s nothing in the country that is promoted that way,” Carlos Constandse said.

He asserted that promoting a destination such as San Luis Potosí requires a very different approach to promoting Quintana Roo, where Grupo Xcaret’s business interests are located.

Consequently, reaching agreement between different members of a new tourism promotional council will be complicated, Constandse warned.

The businessman added that he has proposed that marketing experts from all of Mexico’s tourism companies meet to analyze the best ways to promote Mexico’s diversity of destinations.

Constandse also raised the possibility of bringing international celebrities to Mexico to help promote the nation’s image abroad.

Mexico’s largest tourism showcase, the Tianguis Turístico, will be held in Acapulco, Guerrero, next month and it has been decided that Mérida, Yucatán, will host the 2020 edition.

Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco announced yesterday that the Yucatán capital has been selected as the host after receiving the votes of 12 selection committee members.

Mexico City, the only other candidate to host the event, garnered just one vote.

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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