MEXICO CITY (eTN) – The third edition of the Fair International de Turismo de las Americas (International Tourism Fair of the Americas or FITA) opened its doors to domestic and foreign travel and tourism professionals Thursday, September 20, at the Centro Expo Bancomer Santa Fe. Unfortunately, the conference was presented in Spanish language only despite the presence of a high delegation of foreign journalists. There were translation equipments available, but no translators were ever hired for the conference. As such, I was not able to perform my usual live event reporting. Thankfully, a student named Daphne from Anahuac University’s School of Tourism made an effort to help me in what would otherwise have been a useless conference. Daphne helped in making the below translation/transcription possible.
Roberto Borge Angulo (Quintana Roo Governor and President of the CONAGO Tourism Commision): “We have to make tourism the biggest business for our country. We have to make all the industries part of tourism, so we can grow fast. Tourism can make Mexico the most important country in tourism. We have everything–infrastructure, cities, sun, beaches. But, we don’t have someone with enough courage to administer this. Everytime Mexico wants to improve in something, this becomes complicated because there are many organization in it so they never walk in the same way. [The] last crisis has affected tourism. When crisis is over, then came insecurity in the country, so we need to fight with that.”
Silvia Hernandez (President of Estregia Publica Consultores): “Laws are making a lot of changes and SECTUR does not have enough time to change the way of tourism and to change the way they are selling tourism products. Mexico just sells sun and beaches, but Mexico is more than just that. The world only knows us as a sun and beach. We need different ways to promote our different products. For all that new business in tourism continue selling sun and beaches. We have to innovate and become more Mexican. We have to look at what we are doing and other countrie, then evaluate our product. Make our product Mexican. We have to be competitive and unique.”
Oscar Espinosa Villareal (President of Buffete Consulta): “We have a big problem when we know that sun and beach are good business. The government decided to make artificial beaches in the city, but Mexico City has more than this. We have beautiful buildings, we have people that want to visit The Basilica de Guadelupe. We need to use all we have already and we need to learn a good way to sell this. The government only supports when they know they will get their money back.”
Carlos Mackinlay Grohmann (Tourism Secretary of Mexico City): The Tourism Ministry is useful but the way the Tourism Ministry is working now is not the best. It has a lot of mistakes. We need a different ministry, a ministry that is stronger. They missed the most important thing, which is tourism promotion. We need a more powerful [Tourism] Ministry. We have to focus in areas that are full of culture and tradition. We are receiving good response with this new tourism [image]. We are focusing with US$7 million medical tourism with private industries.”