Interview: Miguel Torruco Marqués
In light of the new multi-phase tourism policy, what diversification initiatives will be put in place to strengthen the industry?
MIGUEL TORRUCO MARQUÉS: The government has set a series of inclusive tourism policies, whose benefits are expected to reach all segments of society, with fundamentals for the implementation of programmes focused on promoting business, leisure and health tourism activities. Additionally, the development of infrastructure projects will further expand socio-economic growth in the country’s most disadvantaged areas.
As part of the MXN1.5bn ($775.6m) Maya Train and MXN1.1bn ($568.8m) Trans-Isthmus railway projects, a variety of tourism developments will be fostered along the routes in order to tap potential, including the rich and diverse natural and cultural resources present in areas like Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz and Campeche, among others.
The Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development have also launched a joint urban improvement programme in tourist destinations including, but not limited to, Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Bahía de Banderas, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Ciudad Juárez and Los Cabos.
In addition to this, the Huasteca Potosina area – supported by the new Tamuín National Airport will soon see the construction and operation of a regional tourism development centre that will play a pivotal role in the promotion of tourism in the Bajío region, Mexico’s most dynamic industrial area. Traditional tourist destinations will be further strengthened by accelerating the expansion of new segments. Among these is medical tourism, which can benefit from the significant opportunities it already presents thanks to existing infrastructure, the cost of treatment, and the professionalism of medical and wellness services; and the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions segment, which has consistently grown over recent years.
How is the dissolution of the Mexico Tourism Board and ProMéxico anticipated to impact global reputation-building for tourism?
TORRUCO: The government’s reorganisation of public funds has affected tourism promotion. In this regard, this administration has put in place several programmes that have transferred responsibilities to Mexico’s diplomatic delegations abroad. A new entity called the Tourism Diplomacy Council has been created, and this will enable diplomatic delegations to undergo the necessary training to disseminate information that can better attract tourists and related investment to the country.
Furthermore – and considering the strategic importance of new technology in the promotion of tourist destinations – the Ministry of Tourism will soon launch VisitMexico, a digital platform that dovetails with other public efforts by further extending the reach of promotional campaigns worldwide.
What is being done at all levels of government to tackle insecurity at tourism destinations?
TORRUCO: The Ministry of Tourism is working hand in hand with the Secretariat of Public Security in order to effectively implement the National Peace and Security Plan in 27 tourist destinations. Among the number of measures to be implemented, the government is emphasising a new police approach, based on closer and more attentive supervision and monitoring in tourist areas; the strengthening of intelligence and analysis divisions in these areas, as well as the local and municipal forces; and the design and management of control and accountability actions. The National Guard will play a crucial role in the national security strategy, providing a sustainable and solid security back-up plan in the country’s most popular tourist destinations, where both domestic and foreign tourists can continue to enjoy their holidays without concern for their safety.