Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Year of tourism declaration

Calderón unveils national agreement on Tourism, aims to place Mexico in Top 5 Destinations by 2018.In late-January, President Felipe Calderón declared that 2011 would be the country’s “year of tourism”. Today, he signed the National Agreement on Tourism, a 100-point plan that will require action in 10 key areas to place Mexico in the top 5 tourist destinations in the world.

Calderón’s “year of tourism” declaration was made amid a cluster of mostly-negative travel reports suggesting that the legacy of drug violence would result in a sharp decline in “springbreakers”. Nonetheless, he took an optimistic position while acknowledging the centrality of tourism to Mexico’s economy, and suggested that in addition to boosting tourism, effort would be made to enhance the attractiveness of Mexican properties to foreign investors including international hotel chains and shops.

As reported by CNN Expansion, Calderón gave the press a glimpse of his implementation plan, which emerged after consultation with representatives from the private sector, universities, and the federal and state governments. The Agreement is designed to place Mexico in the top 5 tourist destination by 2018, as measured by the number of visitors and foreign exchange earnings.

The strategy contains 100 actions to be directed toward 10 key areas including connectivity, financing, infrastructure, regulation, cultural heritage, promotion, training, certification, production and sustainability.

The Agreement is designed to attract visitors and investment, as well as increase tourism to the country. Calderón suggested that as many as 4 million direct jobs and 12 million indirect jobs could be generated by the strategy.
Despite a barrage of negative press, Calderón’s optimism seems to be founded. In 2010, Mexico received approximately 22.6 million foreign tourists, up from the 2009 numbers.

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