An undefined tourism policy and lack of tourism promotion is deterring investment in the sector, according to the president of a global industry group.
Gloria Guevara, president of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and a former Mexican secretary of tourism, said yesterday that “there is no interest” among the organization’s members in the government’s two largest tourism infrastructure projects, the Santa Lucía airport and the Maya Train.
“In the case of Mexico, some WTTC members have said that they’re going to wait in order to understand a bit more about what priority will be given to the [tourism] sector. I don’t mean that it’s all of them, some are continuing [to invest] in certain destinations, Quintana Roo and Los Cabos, for example, but they’re looking at Mexico with a little bit of uncertainty,” she said.
Guevara added that the government’s decision to disband the Tourism Promotion Council (CPTM) and the resulting lack of international marketing campaigns has also caused anxiety among members and acted as a barrier to investment.
However, she contended that the lack of marketing hasn’t yet affected visitor numbers.
“The impact hasn’t been seen yet. You have to remember that trips are sold in advance, especially international ones,” Guevara said.
The WTTC president noted that the public and private sectors are working together on a “new policy and strategy” to replace the CPTM but the preparation of a new international marketing campaign for the upcoming winter holiday season needs to begin now.
Several experts have already warned that other holiday destinations in the region, such as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, will benefit from Mexico’s withdrawal of tourism marketing funds.
It’s important to promote new tourism products, Guevara said, adding that if people don’t know about them, they won’t buy them.
The industry leader also said that state governments, members of the private sector, the tourism secretary and Mexico’s overseas diplomatic staff – who have been given responsibility for promoting tourism in the countries in which they are based – must maintain close contact with travel agents to promote Mexico and its various destinations.
After four years of steady growth, Mexico dropped from sixth to seventh place last year in international tourism rankings.
But while Mexico was overtaken by Turkey in the rankings, international visitor numbers rose to a record 41.4 million in 2018, a 5.5% increase compared to the year before.
Source: El Economista (sp)