Held for the first time in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico’s 37th Tianguis Turistico (Tourism Fair) saw a significant increase in numbers of exhibitors, visitors and sales.
President Felipe Calderon and governors Emilio Gonzalez Marquez and Roberto Sandoval Castañeda (Jalisco and Nayarit) all showed up to the opening of the mammoth four-day trade show that has traditionally been held in Acapulco.
Gonzalez said the decision to move the fair from Acapulco to other parts of Mexico had been vindicated and that the Vallata event “exceeded expectations.”
“Acapulco is beautiful but it’s just Acapulco. (The buyers) should also experience other areas of the country.”
Calderon said the new traveling format for the show would “permit a continuing increase in quality for the Tianguis, year after year.”
Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism Gloria Guevara Manzo announced that in the final tally, around 1,500 industry buyers struck about 1.5 billion dollars in deals at more than 22,000 meetings at the fair, making it a resounding success. Furthermore, she estimated that the event generated 118 million pesos for the local economy.
In his address, Calderon drew attention to the increase in tourism over his term. 2011 set a record for the country with 22.7 million international visitors, which he attributed to his administration’s more than 30 billion pesos of investment in national infrastructure and tourism projects. Those numbers are expected to continue that trend in 2012, with Mayan tourism in particular drawing larger crowds.
Calderon said that his goal is to put Mexico in the world’s top five tourist destinations. According to the United Nations’ World Tourism Rankings, the country is currently sitting at number ten.
At the inauguration, Calderon also promised to make the longstanding dream of the “Via Corta” (a shorter route between Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara) a reality. State governors and others have made such propositions consistently over the last 30 years.