Fourteen travel advisors from around the country met with members of T+L editorial staff as well as hoteliers and government officials of the tourism sector. The purpose of the meeting was to share thoughts about the potential for Mexico tourism in 2018. The meeting was a mixture of presentations, round table discussions and site inspections of some of the new properties in the Mayan Riviera.
Highlights of the meetings:
Andaz Mayakoba presentation: Newest hotel in Mayakoba. The suites are great, including plunge (in some a larger pool) outdoor shower (always a nice touch in the Mexican Riviera) and the beds are outstanding. We had dinner at the Rosewood and it was wonderful, tapas-style. It was supposed to be outdoors but it rained and they quickly set us up in a wonderful bar.
Yucatán Tourism Board: A very dynamic presentation and I believe the Hacienda offering is very good with some beautiful residences in the market. Yucatán brings archaeology, food, nature and culture together in a very nice way-Chichén, pibil, flamingos, mangrove and historical sites. Merida is also a beautiful city to visit for those that want to enjoy the area in a different way.
Round Table: We had lunch with most of the hotel sales directors of the area. A large part of the conversation was about safety and tainted alcohol. Crime seems to be under control and Lizzi Cole, from the State of Quintana Roo shared an explanation of the tainted alcohol problem. It was not poisoned alcohol but too much of it that caused the incident with the lady from Milwaukee. The “story” about tainted alcohol was taken up by a local tabloid and the Milwaukee Sentinel picked it up from them. The illegal alcohol that was then confiscated by the Mexican authorities was just alcohol that had not paid taxes, that is why it was confiscated. The Mexican Ambassador went to the U.S. State Department to find out where they had gotten the info about the “tainted” alcohol and they basically said it was the news. I say you can recommend Mexico with confidence. Like any other developing country, you must be careful but that’s it.
Hotel Xcaret: Newest hotel in the Riviera Maya. We visited two days before its grand opening. It is owned by the owners of all the water theme parks in the area (Xcaret, Xel-Ha, etc.). They want to position as Disney World-like. Free entrances to all the parks for guests of the hotel. They call the concept All-Fun Inclusive. A very nice facility, nicely designed and with very nice rooms. Due to its inauguration, it has unbeatable all-inclusive prices. An excellent price for families who are not super luxury. There will be a great market for this.
Mexico is A World of its Own.