This week, Acapulco kicks off the 36th annual Tianguis Turistico 2011, Mexico’s most important travel conference and exhibition event. Sponsored by the Mexico Tourism Board and the Mexico Secretary of Tourism (SECTUR), Tianguis Turistico features over 500 exhibitors and draws business leaders, associations and others from around the world to learn about Mexico’s unique destinations, venues, hotels and cultural heritage. In addition to the exhibitions and presentations, this year’s conference features a keynote address by eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi.
The conference directly follows the release of the fourth edition of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, based on the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) that has ranked Mexico 4th in the region and 43rd overall among 139 countries—climbing eight places from its 2009 ranking.
Mexico outranked other Latin American countries, including Costa Rica (#44 overall) and Brazil (#52 overall). And it ranked fourth among the 25 countries that make up The Americas, placing behind the U.S., Canada and Barbados.
“The report demonstrates that Mexico is moving in a positive direction,” said Mexico’s Tourism Secretary Gloria Guevara Manzo. “Our country has incomparable character, culture and charm that we want to share with the world and it is rewarding to see that it is recognized and appreciated.”
Secretary Guevara added that Mexico also has addressed areas the report noted as needing improvement, including safety and security. “We have made real and sustained progress in making Mexico safe and secure, and will continue to devote our resources to ensuring that it remains a top destination,” she said.
Mexico gets its impressive marks mainly for its abundance of natural resources and its cultural resources (such as the 33 World Heritage cultural sites). It ranks 13th among all 139 countries as it relates to human, cultural and natural resources. And the country’s emphasis on preservation, tourism promotion and prioritization of the cultural sector earned it additional recognition. However, the Report also identified where Mexico needs to focus and improve, including in safety and security concerns, as Secretary Guevara noted. Health and hygiene and in ground transport infrastructure also could use improvement.
TTCI measures the factors and policies that make it attractive to develop travel and tourism in different countries. The assessment is derived by analyzing three subindexes—Travel and Tourism Regulatory Framework; Travel and Tourism Business Environment and Infrastructure; and Travel and Tourism Human, Cultural and Natural Resources.
TTCI is developed based on quantitative data and a qualitative survey. The quantitative data derives from publicly available sources, international organizations and travel and tourism institutions and experts. The survey data comes from CEOs and top business leaders in all economies covered by the research, addressing qualitative institutional and business environment issues, as well as specific issues related to the travel and tourism industry and the quality of the natural environment.