Despite initial concerns that participation might be deterred by Tianguis Turistico’s host city this year, the 40th annual event has ended on a high note, according to Mexico’s Minister of Tourism Claudia Ruiz Massieu.
Feedback regarding Acapulco’s performance as the location for this year’s event has been resoundingly positive from all attendants who spoke with PAX, each reporting a revived interest in a place that has been overshadowed by violence and crime.
Delegates have been tasked with sharing the message of a re-emerging destination that Governor of Guerrero Rogelio Ortega Martinez said is “the icon that projected Mexico onto the world stage.” Addressing international press alongside Massieu, Martinez reiterated the need for more tourists to experience Acapulco in order for the once-popular destination to reclaim its spot as a top choice, particular for Americans and Canadians.
The city had previously hosted Tianguis for 36 years consecutively until government officials decided to move it to other locations throughout the country, though it was brought home to mark four decades of existence, taking place in the new convention centre Mundo Imperial. The event was positive for Acapulco's local economy, resulting in 3,000 hotel rooms occupied and a $120 million dollar economic impact.
According to the tourism secretary, 690 buying companies from 65 countries participated in more than 31,000 business appointments over the course of four days, which falls short of last year’s number in Cancun at 38,000 but exceeds the set goal of 26,000 by seven per cent. In all, there were more than 2,500 exhibitors on the trade show floor.
Of the 690 buyers, 266 were domestic and 424 international, 50 per cent higher than the figure recorded from the last Tianguis in Acapulco in 2011, Massieu said.
In addition, this expo was the first to welcome buying companies from countries in the Middle East and Africa, including Tunisia, Morocco and Lithuania.
Sights are now set on Tianguis Turistico 2016, scheduled to take place in Guadalajara.