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April 25, 2010updated Feb 07, 2013

Exclusive: Mexico’s President Calderón Calls For Aggressive Promotion Of Product and People

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Acapulco, Mexico – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine

Making a special trip to speak at the opening of the annual Tianguis tourism fair held here President Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa called on leaders of the country’s tourism industry to more aggressively promote tourism to his country stating “the advantages we have versus the other destinations worldwide are significant.”

Calling the Mexican culture “original” with a history spanning 1500 years, he cited pyramids, music, gastronomy and the arts. President Calderon went on to site Mexico’s position as fourth in the world for ecotourism and its locations and facilities that attract worldwide conferences and summits, including international banking, energy and United Nation’s meetings as a show of its diverse appeal.

Saying “the most important aspect we have as Mexico is that hospitality is embedded in us” he quoted the expression “Mi casa es su casa” translating as “my home is your home.”

In the invitation-only luncheon, President Calderón spent much of his time at the podium taking questions from the audience, directly addressing concerns about security for tourists. “We must say security for visitors is guaranteed,” he said stating that violence in Mexico is not targeted at tourists, is not in tourist areas and is not targeted at civilians. He painted the violence that has made headlines in the U.S. as a struggle between rival criminal groups and criminal groups and the authorities. Siting statistics from global law enforcement agencies President Calderón said that in Mexico there are 11.5 murders per 100,000 people which he compared to New Orleans at 75 murders per 100,000 and Washington D.C. at 31 homicides per 100,000. He said in tourism areas in Mexico the figure is significantly lower than the 11.5 national average.

Focusing back on Mexico’s tourism product, the President sited natural reserves and attractions, including a butterfly reserves and swimming with giant whales as examples of unique tourism experiences that need to be better promoted.

Newly appointed Minister of Tourism Gloria Rebeca Guevara Manzo, the former CEO of travel technology company Sabre in Mexico, said under her watch the Tourism Board would improve its “focus on the different needs of different visitors.” Speaking before the President at the luncheon yesterday the Minister told the full auditorium, “We need to speak about the good things our country can offer, and show the best of Mexico to the World.”

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Mexico is continuing to expand its high end inventory and appeal to elite travelers, and President Calderon told the audience he was going to make a special stop to officially open the Banyan Tree Acapulco, the second Mexican resort for the Asia based group that has won numerous awards for its properties.

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