Comment: A view from Mexico

The UK will play a role in post-Covid recovery plans, says Marc Murphy, managing director of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau

Like many places in the world, our tourism industry has been hit hard by this crisis. The current plans of the Mexican government give an indication that from June 2020, hotels and accommodation will gradually return to operate for domestic tourism.

This is subject to change depending on the evolution of the pandemic in the region. In Mexico, we are closely monitoring what is happening in other markets like Europe and China, as well as the evolving scenario in the US.

We predict that the domestic market will be one of the first to rebound as Mexican travellers can comfortably drive with their families to Riviera Nayarit. This will be followed by the international markets, starting with US and Canada.

A new travel era

The tourism industry is already changing and we must be prepared to adapt to cope with new preferences and legislation. We expect couples, families and small groups of friends will look for remote ´under-the-radar´ places avoiding crowds. This is an opportunity for Riviera Nayarit which is made up of 23 micro destinations and offers lots of small hotels as well as isolated locations amongst nature.

We expect consumers will be more inclined to choose destinations where their Covid-19 concerns are being addressed and together with the Association Bahia de Banderas, we are working on a protocol of industry-defining standards of cleanliness and disinfection for all Riviera Nayarit properties before reopening.

This could also include a “quick” Covid-19 test for all staff and guests on entering a property, temperature controls at check-in and social distancing measures in common areas. We are working very hard behind the scenes to be prepared for when travel is reinstated

Inspiring travellers from home

Since the beginning of the lockdown, Riviera Nayarit has launched a virtual Facebook series in collaboration with the region’s five-star hotels, allowing virtual visitors the opportunity to experience a variety of attractions that Riviera Nayarit has to offer.

From Mexican chefs hosting cooking workshops to word-class mixologists displaying cocktail-making tutorials, we aim to keep our viewers inspired and provide some light relief for those stuck at home dreaming of their next holiday.

In these unprecedented times, Riviera Nayarit continues to show the warm Mexican hospitality the destination has always been known for. We feel proud of the way the tourism sector has responded to the crisis and as a community, we feel more united now than ever.  To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Riviera Nayarit CVB distributed face masks, food supplies to charity and shared messages of solidarity. We have to stay united, remain safe and stand strong because we are all in this together.

The UK market

The UK is our most important source market in Europe in terms of visitor numbers and this year we established permanent representation in the UK to strengthen our presence in the market. Our UK representatives are able to strengthen important relationships with travel agents, hotel representatives, tour operators, DMCs, airlines operating in the region, and the media.

We are currently running a series of online webinars encouraging the UK travel trade to put the destination on the map and help more British travel professionals discover our beautiful destination.

Although it is still too early to say when we can expect to attract British holidaymakers to Riviera Nayarit, we hope to welcome them as soon as it is safe and possible. Riviera Nayarit is an ideal winter sun destination. Our region is blessed with an average yearly temperature of 27 degrees, a range of new boutique properties, virgin beaches fringed with lush vegetation, authentic Huichol art and culture and an abundance of authentic seafood restaurants.

We hope to welcome British travellers back to the region later this year for a well-earned break after a very challenging few months.

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