Quintana Roo advances on the road to recovery
Through different initiatives, the destination adds efforts to increase the number of visitors that will arrive in the remainder of the year
The Quintana Roo Tourism Promotion Council works intensively through the areas of Strategic Planning, Marketing, Promotion and Public Relations to recover the land lost as a result of the health crisis. To learn about the situation in detail, we exclusively interviewed its Director of Public Relations Vanessa Mariscal Nava. We share the answers below:
Until the Covid-19 health crisis broke out, what was the situation of the tourism industry in your destination?
In the first 10 days of March, the Riviera Maya, Cancun Hotel Zone, Cozumel and Puerto Morelos had an average hotel occupancy of 80%.
What was the original plan and objectives for this year and how has it been modified by the health crisis?
We have modified and adapted our promotional campaigns as well as readjusted their launch dates. With the reactivation of the destination as a priority, that is why the “The Best of Two Worlds” campaign is focused on the markets that are closest to traveling and from there the campaigns are broken down by segments and different markets, which will continue to be implemented.
In addition, trips to national or international fairs, which were canceled, we knew how to replace that activity, because today technology has been our ally to be able to be in contact with airlines, tour operators, travel agents and other people from the tourism field through webinars, seminars and press conferences.
In the face of the reopening, how is the positioning of the destination working and how does it describe the health system that will be offered to tourists worldwide?
The reopening of our destination was given in an orderly and staggered manner always governed by the epidemiological traffic light implemented by Governor Carlos Joaquín, in which he gave the gradual opening date of June 8 in which the companies began to align its protocols to the recommendations of official organizations such as the Government of Mexico, the Mexican Secretariat of Health, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Travel Council and Tourism (WTTC), among others.
In order to regain and maintain the confidence of travelers, the Ministry of Tourism (Sedetur) and the State Health Services (SESA) of Quintana Roo, together with the support of specialists in the sector, launched the “Certification in Protection and Health Prevention in Tourist Facilities ”(CPPSIT) which aims to ensure that all companies that interact with tourists meet these high standards.
To date, more than 6,700 companies, from hotels, carriers, tour operators, restaurants and the taxi segment has just opened, which have registered to obtain the certification that aims to maintain the highest sanitary measures for prevention and containment of COVID-19 and build trust among guests, partners, and the community, reflecting the private industry's commitment to travelers.
As a result, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), released its global certification of "Safe Travel" for the tourism industry, which has recognized the Mexican Caribbean program as one of the few in the world that complies with its global standard, in addition to being the first destination in the American continent to obtain this certification, showing our commitment to citizens and visitors.
What initiatives were launched to support tourism companies?
The State Government, given the impacts that this pandemic could generate, in support of the economy of Quintana Roo families and the business sector, issued the "Agreement by which it is instructed to implement the measures and actions necessary to face the spread of the virus COVID-19 in the State of Quintana Roo”, therefore, in keeping with this situation, various benefits and tax incentives were granted to the citizens and taxpayers of the State, specifically with regard to the Payroll Tax,
Lodging Tax, among others.
In addition to the Certification in Protection and Sanitary Prevention in Tourist Facilities ”(CPPSIT) issued by SEDETUR, it is free for all interested parties, who meet the requirements.
What kind of promotional activities and benefits do you plan to recover the number of tourists?
We launched our #LoMejorDeDosMundos campaign, in which we seek to highlight the essence of Mexico and the Caribbean: cenotes, Mayan rituals, underground rivers, jungle, gastronomy, different shades of blue, nightlife, Magic Towns, interaction with wildlife, theme parks, customer service, etc., which makes the Mexican Caribbean a unique destination worldwide. With this campaign we clearly show the duality of moments that can be lived in the same place and how this represents a great added value for travelers looking for a destination that surprises them. In addition, there will be alternative campaigns for specific segments such as meetings, weddings, timeshare, hotels, golf, among others.
Similarly, we continue with seminars for travel agents, participating in panels and webinars. We are in constant communication with hoteliers and representatives of the State Associations to continue working on actions to attract visitors to the Mexican Caribbean.
The official page of the Caribbean-Mexican destination.travel is in constant development to keep future visitors informed, as well as they can find inspiration in our social networks that show how wonderful each destination is.
We know that our destinations are unmatched, and among our activities is to always keep future travelers informed of the measures that are being taken in the destination, of the activities that are being carried out and showing why we are leaders in the tourism industry.
What is your vision regarding the main source markets that are most important to you?
The arrival of flights to the destination is being optimistically managed, due to the excellent air connection available, in addition to the commitment of the tourism industry to receive visitors.
In June we received approximately 100,000 tourists, who come from our main strategic markets, Mexico and the United States. 55% of the tourists who have arrived at the destinations are repetitive, that is, they have been previously in the destination, they are loyal tourists since most had already been 2 or more times in the Mexican Caribbean.
For the Canadian market, on July 28 we held a webinar in collaboration with Air Canada Vacations with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico and the Embassy of Mexico in Canada to inform travel agents about the health and safety protocols as well as the Mexican Caribbean attractions available to tourists. We already have flights from Toronto and Montreal.
How are you working with the airlines to not only reactivate flights, but also win new routes?
Among the challenges is the recovery of air connectivity. However, we maintain meetings and promotional alliances with airlines to recover flights to our destinations. As a result, at the beginning of August a new record is being broken, 101 flights in one day, of which 42 came from the United States and 2 from Canada, 57 national, that is, 40% compared to last year.