Puerto Vallarta intensifies its promotion to regain market
The Mexican destination is committed to strengthening its position in the United States and Canada to regain lost ground during the health crisis
Puerto Vallarta had been achieving exponential growth in recent years as a result of hard public and private work. Although the health crisis stopped the industry, its authorities continued to work to avoid losing as much ground in its key markets. To know a more detailed detail of the current situation there and future plans, we exclusively interviewed Luis Villaseñor, Director of Promotion and Public Relations. We share the responses below:
Until the health crisis broke out due to Covid-19, what was the situation of the tourism industry in your country / destination?
Puerto Vallarta until 2019 had managed to accumulate 3 years of consecutive growth, both in attracting investments, opening of hotels, economic spillover and hotel occupancy, the last year the average annual occupation was 72.3%. The 2020 forecast was to close at 78% and continue the economic dynamism. The Puerto Vallarta International Airport had announced a significant investment in 5 years for the expansion of the enclosure with the creation of a new terminal of 35 thousand square meters and 8 new contact positions, the amount of the investment was for 3 thousand 750 million pesos.
What was the original plan and objectives for this year and how has it been modified by the health crisis?
In 2020, the plan was to continue reinforcing the brand presence in emerging markets to complement the seasonality of demand. In the new scenario, efforts will be exclusively in the destination's natural markets. The attraction of younger audiences continues in the plan, to position Puerto Vallarta in a more inspirational and aspirational way for that market that seeks unique experiences and the destination has them. Additionally, this profile will have a greater propensity to travel in the international and national market.
With a view to reopening, how do destination positioning work and how does it describe the health system they will offer tourists worldwide?
Puerto Vallarta has been operating since June 15, during the pandemic close communication and collaboration has been maintained with the most important commercial partners in Mexico, the United States and Canada in order to exchange information and when the time was right to work in reactivation. We are currently activating the regional and national market who will be the first to visit us. At the destination level, we have worked with the local tourism sector to implement biosecurity protocols and give certainty to the visitor, Puerto Vallarta has the WTTC secure travel stamp. The travel insurance issue will be a very important factor for the international tourist in the event of any eventuality. Puerto Vallarta has high-level private hospitals that have known over time to serve the Medical Tourism segment and in the current scenario will be important actors in promoting the destination.
What initiatives were launched to support tourism companies?
The Government of the State of Jalisco implemented financial support for self-employed people as well as small and medium-sized companies in order to help the former with basic needs and the latter to support maintaining the workforce in the face of contingencies.
What kind of promotional activities and benefits do you plan to recover the number of tourists?
We started from July 6 to 10 with business visits to the main regional markets in the State of Jalisco that includes Guadalajara (the second largest city in Mexico) and its metropolitan area, as well as different medium-sized cities that by proximity can generate visitors to Vallarta Port. These visits are taking care of the security measures and healthy distance to share with the travel adviser friends the news of the destination, current operational situation and the promotions that are being offered. On July 15, the promotion campaign begins that will include added values as a destination, for example a value coupon to encourage average visitor spending and permeate the spill to various sectors of the city.
What is your vision regarding the main source markets most important to you?
The national market will be key in the opening months for Puerto Vallarta, with nearby distribution centers such as Guadalajara and the Bajío area that can arrive by land and metropolises such as Mexico City and Monterrey for air travel.
At the international level, the United States will be the first to arrive from different States of the American Union as the activities and control of the pandemic begin to take place, it should be noted that Puerto Vallarta maintained connectivity at all times with key cities in that country such as Houston , Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The Canadian market is expected to return until the fall when connectivity is expected to return through various Canadian partners.
How are you working with airlines to not only revive flights, but also gain new routes?
Puerto Vallarta is working with various airlines operating to the destination through campaigns to reach the consumer and restore connectivity prior to the pandemic. So far, only two new routes have been achieved, one national and the other international, which is undoubtedly a success in the face of the difficult situation facing airlines worldwide and the global tourism sector.