Journal: TWUKSection:
Title: Issue Date: 30/10/00
Author: Page Number: 42
Copyright: Other

Pueblaito by Steve Collins

AITOseeks out alternatives

Conference looks to boost awareness of destination

EFFORTS to promote alternative Mexican destinations to beach resorts will be strengthened when the Association of Independent Tour Operators holds its 20th annual conference in a former colonial city next month.

The event will be staged from November 22-27 in Puebla, a 90-minute drive southeast of Mexico City, where the country’s pre-Columbian and colonial heritage will be on show.

The Mexican Tourist Board has been involved in the organisation of the conference, which it believes will have a strong spin-off for tourism to the region.

Puebla was once an important Spanish colonial city and its historical centre still maintains the character and charm of that era.

It is also a good base from which to visit the surrounding countryside, including the volcanoes of Popocatéptl and Ixtaccíhuatl.

AITO executive director John Henton said: “As a destination, Puebla is perfectly in line with AITO members’ products – it’s niche and it’s different. I know that several members are planning to research new programmes or add to existing ones while in Mexico.

“We are confident that in line with every AITO conference to date, new holiday programmes will result from the trip.”

Around 160 tour operator members are expected to attend the conference and will be based at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the city.

The conference itself will be held at the Puebla Convention Centre, a15-minute walk from the hotel.

Although Pueblaito, as the event has been dubbed, will be the association’s 20th conference, it is only the second time the association has held its conference in a long-haul venue. The last was in Boston three years ago.

Puebla: holding the AITO conference in this forner colonial city will help to lift awareness of the destination among UKoperators