Heading up the Washington, D.C. office will be Eduardo Chaillo, a Mexico Tourism Board veteran who once led the Mexico Convention Bureau (MCB) and most recently oversaw the MTB’s promotional efforts in the United States and Canada from the MTB’s midwestern headquarters in Chicago.
According to Chaillo, the office opening responds to a need to better service the northeast region, whose high population density and per-capita income make it one of Mexico’s most important international tourism feeder markets. The city is also home to many of the United States’ leading travel associations, government agencies and chambers of commerce, as well as the Mexican Embassy, making an established presence for the MTB there particularly important, Chaillo said.
While the office will specialize in all product segments, from sun and beach to nature to culture, particular emphasis will be placed on meetings and conventions, according to Chaillo. Mexico wants to stake its claim for a larger piece of the United States’ business travel market, estimated by the Convention Industry Council at US$122 billion; currently, only 12.5 percent of the meetings and conventions organized by U.S. companies are held in Mexico, meaning the sector offers tremendous opportunity, . According to the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), 30 percent of organizers of the 300,000 conventions it registered last year expressed a desire to hold events in Mexico.
In addition to opening an office in the U.S. capital, the MTB will also expand operations in its West Coast office, headquartered in Los Angeles, announced Mexico Tourism Board CEO Francisco Lopez Mena. The region is by far the most important U.S. tourism feeder market for Mexico, responsible for more than 2.4 million of the international tourists visiting the country in 2006, said Lopez Mena.
Funding for the office and other promotional initiatives slated for the coming year will come from the MTB’s promotional budget of 1.61 billon pesos (about 150 million dollars), 40 percent larger than the previous year. The increase derives from the recent passage of a provision increasing from 50 to 70 percent the MTB’s share of tourism revenues from the International Tourist Tax (DNI).
About the Mexico Tourism Board
The Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) brings together the resources of federal and state governments, municipalities and private companies to promote Mexico’s tourism attractions and destinations internationally. Created in 1999, the MTB is Mexico’s tourism promotion agency, and its participants include members of both the private and public sectors. The MTB has offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
About Chichen-Itza, the World Wonder
Swiss-based New7Wonders Foundation is revising the original seven ancient wonders of the world, and Mexico’s Chichen-Itza in Yucatan State is one of 21 finalists to become a new Seven World Wonder. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, Chichen-Itza is considered to have been one of the greatest Mayan centers of the Yucatan peninsula, and today is one of the largest and most impressive archaeological sites in Mexico. To vote for Chichen-Itza as one of the new Seven World Wonders, visit www.new7wonders.com.