Monday, March 30, 2015
Tourism and the 40th Annual 'Tianguis Turístico'
By Allan Wall
Tourism is one of the biggest revenue producers in Mexico,
and is promoted by the government and private business.
Besides helping the economy, if tourism is managed properly it can encourage local communities and residents to preserve
the environment and take care of historical and cultural sites. If people have a vested economic interest in such attractions,
they take care of them. After all, if you let things deteriorate you’re losing money.
And Mexico has much to offer both domestic and foreign tourists.
The country has a great variety of scenery. There are beaches, mountains,
deserts, jungles, forests, rivers, lakes and even snow-capped volcanoes. Hiking, boating, hunting and fishing, mountain climbing
and extreme sports can all be practiced.
archaeological sites abound. Visitors to the Yucatan peninsula can visit Chichen Itza, Coba and Tulum. Cholula has the world’s
biggest pyramid by volume. The Teotihuacan complex near Mexico City is quite impressive to visit.
In Mexico City, tourists can spend time at the world-famous anthropology museum, where artifacts
from various pre-Hispanic cultures are exhibited. Downtown one can see the Templo Mayor museum of the Aztec culture.
Spanish colonial architecture can be found in
many Mexican cities. The Spaniards constructed beautiful cities such as Queretaro, Guanajuato and Zacatecas. The downtowns
of these cities are still well-preserved and look as they did centuries ago. There is impressive art and
architecture to be found in colonial churches all over Mexico. And it’s interesting to point out
that back in the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, colonial buildings fared better than many 20th-century constructions.
Mexico possesses a great variety of regional cultural attractions
— traditional cuisine, costume and custom, including seasonal observances.
So there is plenty to see and do in Mexico.
The annual Tianguis Turístico, a trade fair for Mexican tourism, is sponsored
by the Mexican Secretaría de Turismo and the Consejo de Promoción Turística.
It’s been held since 1975, making this year’s Tianguis, held in Acapulco as the vast majority of them have
been, the 40th anniversary of the fair.
word tianguis is an interesting term. It means “market” and derives from the Nahuatl
tongue, spoken by the Aztecs and kindred peoples.)
President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke at the opening of the Tianguis. Besides promoting
and reporting on the state of tourism in Mexico, Peña Nieto announced a program to increase tourism among poorer Mexicans.
The proposal, which would involve the departments of tourism, IMSS and ISSSTE, would help towards enabling children,
young people, the handicapped, the elderly and poor families to visit tourist sites in Mexico. How will
that work out?
Quoting the World Tourism Organization,
Peña Nieto announced that Mexico is among the ten most visited countries of the world.
In calendar year 2014, there were 29.1 million foreigners who visited Mexico, bringing US$16
billion into the Mexican economy. That was an increase over the 2013 figure of 24.2 million foreign tourists.
Will the ongoing drug cartel violence in Mexico
scare away tourists? It undoubtedly does scare away some potential visitors. Nevertheless,
there are plenty of foreigners still willing to visit Mexico. As the figures quoted above show, that number is actually increasing.
This doesn’t mean there is nothing to worry about.
The tourism industry could potentially be damaged by the security situation, so the big tourist resorts
are generally kept safe.
The vast majority of
foreign tourists enjoy their visits to Mexico. But there is that minority of tourists who have bad experiences. Sometimes
it’s the tourists’ fault, sometimes not, but it happens.
Then there is that small minority of foreign tourists who practice what is called “revolutionary tourism.”
These so-called “revolutionary tourists” are people who like to go to places where fighting
is going on. Needless to say, that doesn’t apply to most tourists who definitely don’t seek out trouble. That’s
not what they’re looking for in a vacation.
this is where the security issue intersects with tourism. If the foreign perception of Mexico becomes one of a violent and
dangerous place for tourists, then foreign tourists and potential tourists will just choose not to visit Mexico and go elsewhere.
If Mexico’s tourism revenues drop greatly, that’s bad for the economy, especially for the regions that depend
My family and I have had some
good times traveling in Mexico, and we hope to continue to travel in Mexico and see many things the country has to offer.
Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years. His website is located at http://www.allanwall.info.