Juárez opens US office to lure tourists back to Mexico

March 18, 2014

ciudad juarezWFAA Border Bureau, 3/16/14

As tourism rebounds in Mexico, border cities are trying to attract visitors again. Ciudad Juárez is leading the way with the opening of the first visitor information center on the Texas side of the border. “That’s the message to get across to the U.S.: We’re alive and well, and you can have fun, do business and it will be good,” said Jose Arturo Ramos, executive in charge of projects with the Ciudad Juárez municipal government.

He said “Come back” is the message Juárez wants to send to tourists who crowd the El Paso Saddleblanket Company to buy Southwest souvenirs and gifts. The Juárez visitor center opened inside the mega store during spring break. The Juárez visitor center will provide information on local attractions, restaurants and shops, and plans to offer vans to shuttle people across the border starting this summer.

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As Crime Drops, Americans Begin To Return To Mexico’s Baja

December 2, 2013

Fox Latino News, 11/30/2013

ocean waves and beachOnce centered on timeshares and rowdy bars largely frequented by Americans and Canadians, northern Baja California’s tourism industry is rebounding with the exploding fame of local chefs, the expansion of boutique hotels and a burgeoning art scene creating a buzz in travel magazines.

This year, foreigners made up more than 45 percent of all visitors, after dropping to a low of less than 25 percent when cartels unleashed unprecedented bloodshed, leaving beheaded bodies on Tijuana’s streets. Sport fishing licenses — which are almost exclusively sought by Americans — have increased more than 75 percent during that time, according to Baja California’s tourism department.

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Review: Museo Jumex in Mexico City is an impressive filter

December 2, 2013

Los Angeles Times, 12/1/2013

folk art - communitySince the 1990s, after several decades of relative stasis, Mexico City’s cultural ecology has experienced an efflorescence. A cosmopolitan mix of important Mexican and expatriate artists — Britain’s Melanie Smith, Belgium’s Francis Alÿs, Mexico’s Silvia Gruner, Gabriel Orozco, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Teresa Margolles, Eduardo Abaroa and scores more — has been accompanied by significant growth in art’s essential critical, curatorial and commercial apparatus.

 

What was missing was a museum. A good museum functions as a permeable membrane between a rigorously involved art world and an otherwise preoccupied public. Its absence here was no small void. Now, with the opening of the Museo Jumex, that gap is poised to close. An international program in contemporary art, including a significant permanent collection and an ambitious exhibition schedule, has made an impressive debut.

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Drug War Continues But Most Of Mexico Is Safe For Travel And Business, Experts Say

November 26, 2013

Tourists still heading to Tulum and other destinations in Mexico

Fox News Latino, 11/25/2013

Tucked into a protected bay on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Acapulco has in recent years become the poster child for how the country’s vicious drug war has turned a once idyllic tourist destination into a killing field.

Headless bodies, gang rapes of tourists and hours-long shootouts have driven even the hardiest of visitors away from the city’s famed beaches and high-rise hotels. Foreign visitors flying in have decreased from over 350,000 in 2006 to fewer than 61,000 in 2012 and the once popular spring break destination saw the number of U.S. college students visiting drop by 92 percent in the last three years.

While Acapulco – and border cities like Ciudad Juárez and Reynosa – have dominated the headlines for the gruesome drug violence, much of Mexico’s 761,606 square miles remain relatively safe for both tourists and business interests. Analysts and travel experts tend to agree that Mexico is both as dangerous and as safe as it ever has been; it just depends on where one travels.

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Violence Costs Mexico 15% Of Its GDP In Health Care, Security Expenses And Material Losses

November 15, 2013

International Business Times, 11/15/2013

Federal_PoliceViolence in Mexico has reached alarming levels in the past few years, harming the country’s image outside its borders. Within Mexico, crime claims not only its direct victims, but is also costing the country a significant chunk of its GDP.

Mercedes Juan López, head of the Health Department, said Thursday that violent crimes cost Mexico between 8 and 15 percent of economic output every year. The costs of material damage, insurance and medical care for victims as well as lost productivity account for the surprising figure, she said.

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Tourism firms to invest $8.6 billion in Mexico over three years: President

August 22, 2013

800px-Cancun_BeachReuters, 8/21/2013

Private companies plan to invest $8.6 billion in tourism projects in Mexico over the next three years, President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Wednesday, as the country’s tourism industry works to overcome publicity from drug-related violence.

The investment will focus on building new hotels, refurbishing existing ones, and giving public spaces a facelift. Acapulco, one of Mexico’s most famous beach resorts, has become one of the most violent cities in the Americas over the past three years because of in-fighting among drug gangs.

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Hotel Occupancy In Mexico Grows 6.7%

July 10, 2013

800px-Cancun_BeachFox News Latino, 7/10/2013

Hotel occupancy in Mexico grew by 6.7 percent in the first half of 2013 compared with the same period last year, the Tourism Secretariat said Tuesday. On June 30, the average number of hotel rooms rented in the country’s 70 main tourist destinations during the first half of this year rose to 194,038, while during the same period in 2012 an average of 181,787 rooms were rented.

The beach destinations that reported the largest increase in hotel occupancy were Nuevo Vallarta (31.5 percent), Puerto Escondido (23.7 percent), Cancun (13.1 percent) and the Riviera Maya (7.9 percent). With regard to the large cities, those registering the greatest increases in hotel occupancy were Monterrey, with 10.1 percent, Guadalajara, with 6.4 percent, and Mexico City, with 6.3 percent.

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Tourism Seen Jumping to No. 3 Mexico Cash Source by 2018

June 25, 2013

Claudia-Ruiz-Massieu-2Bloomberg, 6/25/2013

Mexico’s tourism industry, already the nation’s fifth-biggest source of revenue, is seen taking on more economic importance by the end of 2018 as international visits rise and new infrastructure is built, according to a cabinet official. Tourism’s participation in Mexican gross domestic product will climb 100 basis points to 9.4 percent by the end President’s Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration, Tourism Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu said in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York offices on June 21. The “upward trend” for the industry, which employs about 7 million people, will be driven by more visitors from countries outside of North America and better tourism facilities, she said.

“Tourism is already one of the most important economic sectors for Mexico,” Ruiz Massieu said. “We are confident that it can represent at least one point more of GDP at the end of the administration and that we can become the third source of revenue at least.” Last year, tourism generated $12.7 billion in foreign exchange inflows, according to a report by JPMorgan Chase & Co., a 10.5 percent increased versus 2011. Tourism trails manufacturing, oil, remittances and foreign direct investment as the nation’s biggest source of revenue, according to Citigroup Inc.’s Banamex unit.

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Mexico: Tourism picture is brightening for Mazatlan

June 18, 2013

ocean waves and beachLos Angeles Times, 6/18/2013

Things are looking up for tourism in Mazatlan, Mexico. The Pacific Coast resort, with 20-plus miles of beaches and dozens of high-end resorts, has long been a favorite with American tourists. Mexico’s ongoing drug war, however, caused concern on both sides of the border. But recent infrastructure changes, coupled with an overhaul of Mazatlan’s police force, have quieted fears.

Now the Mexican Riviera city has just had its best spring season ever and is poised to have a record-breaking summer season, according to tourism bureau statistics. The London Financial Times named it one of the Top 10 American Cities of the Future, rating it as Mexico’s top medium-sized city in terms of its future economic expectations and cost effectiveness.

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Mexico: As dangerous — and safe — as ever

June 10, 2013

crime sceneCNN, 6/9/2013

Violence in Mexico is back in the news and so is the perennial question: Is Mexico safe? In just the last few weeks there have been stories of 12 young people allegedly abducted in daylight from a Mexico City club; the death by beating of Malcolm X’s grandson, also in the capital; the kidnapping of a U.S. Marine reservist from his father’s ranch; the freeing of 165 people, including two pregnant women, who had been held prisoner; and the case of an Arizonan mom traveling on a bus who was arrested and jailed, accused of smuggling drugs.

That’s all before you look at the staggering toll of the years-long war between security forces and drug cartels — at least 60,000 people killed in drug-related violence from 2006 to 2012, according to Human Rights Watch. Other observers put the number even higher. Outside of war zones, more Americans have been killed in Mexico in the last decade than in any other country outside the United States, and the number of U.S. deaths jumped from 35 in 2007 to 113 in 2011. But those numbers do not lead to any simple conclusion.

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