Representatives from the Mexican tourism office and Cancun-based tour operator Arminas Travel gathered this week to introduce a unique travel product to the Canadian market, catering to the individual interests of travellers.
The event provided details on ‘the circuits,’ consisting of different travel routes through Mexico based on specific areas of interest, including nature, history/archaeology and culture. Arminas' packages range from four to 11 days in length and will take travellers to a wide range of destinations based on their interests. Those tours include several packages of varying lengths that explore sites of importance in the Mayan, Aztec and Olmec civilizations; a 13-day Mesoamerica tour which takes guests from Mexico City to stops in Guatemala and Honduras; and a tour from Los Mochis to Chihuahua in the country’s northwest, often combined with a stop in Los Cabos on the Baja Peninsula.
Armina Wolpert, general manager of Arminas Travel, told PAX that while the company is new to the Canadian market, she is excited to work with travel partners here and is seeking feedback from the industry on what kind of packages travellers are seeking. Currently, the company mainly works in European and Asian markets, including countries as varied as Russia, Estonia, India and China, to name a few.
“We know that the Canadian market is strong in Mexico but there are not a lot of programs featuring this content,” she said, highlighting topics such as history and archaeology. “I think Canadians are looking for this kind of travel. It’s very important for people to start to see this other part of Mexico beyond the beach.”
The circuit packages are in line with the Mexico Tourism Board’s strategy to draw more Canadian travellers to the country, said Rodrigo Esponda, the Mexico Tourism Board’s Regional Director for North America, who explained that the board is currently working on priorities such as drawing first-time travellers as well as positioning the country as a destination for families and the high-end travel market.
“We have focused mainly on the beach because Mexico is very well-positioned as a beach destination,” he said. “But we feel that the Canadian market is ready to experience a little bit more advanced type of product, which is exactly what Arminas is offering.”
Esponda also provided a general Mexico travel update to guests. So far in 2014, Mexico has seen more than $1.1 billion in year-to-date international travel revenue, representing a growth rate of 18.1 per cent. He added that if those numbers continue to climb, Mexico will be on track to see an additional three million international travellers this year over 2013. Of those travellers, approximately 1.1 million Canadians travelled to the country between January and August, a six per cent increase from the previous year.
“It’s been a fantastic year,” Esponda said. “I’ve been working with the board for more than 15 years and we have never had such a record year like this in terms of growth.”
The Director also noted that more than $13 billion in infrastructure improvements are being completed in Mexico, including an $8.9 billion investment in Mexico City International Airport and the creation or extension of several rail connections between urban centres.