Thursday, July 28, 2011
Sectur, Mexico's tourism ministry, has finally selected Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit (aka Nuevo Vallarta plus a few beaches just north of there) as the seat of the annual Tianguis Turistico in 2012. The event has traditionally been held in Acapulco but given that resort's problems with violence in recent years and the reality that Acapulco may not best represent all that Mexico has to offer in terms of attracting international travelers these days, it was a long overdue decision. The municipality of Acapulco contested the loss but was finally overruled by the Supreme Court with a decision favoring Sectur's move to make the tianguis an itinerant event. The choice of PV and Riviera Nayarit just makes good sense. The area has also undergone tremendous renovation in PV and new development north of the city in Nayarit, making it one of the few sites in the nation that can handle the event properly. They have also been relatively insulated from narco-related crime, although there's also a fair amount of denial about the amount of activity in the region. What PV and Nayarit can legitimately claim is that the violence has not affected tourists. Cancun could make the same claims, but unfortunately, the international press has picked up on a number of gruesome stories involving locals and several of its former governors have been at least implicated, if not prosecuted, in drug trafficking and money laundering activities, which suggests that Quintana Roo is up to its ears in illicit business. Puebla will host the 2013 event and then, one suspects, Sectur is banking on Quintana Roo having cleaned up its act enough to handle things in 2014.