April 26, 2024
Today´s Paper

Mexico and Turkey Strengthen Ties with New Air Routes

TULUM, Mexico—Miguel Torruco, head of Mexico’s Federal Tourism Department (Sectur), concludes one of his final international tours under the “Operation Knock on Doors” initiative in Istanbul. He has been actively promoting major Mexican tourism projects, including the Maya Train and the new Tulum Airport. Meanwhile, the Mexican Caribbean maintains robust hotel occupancy rates, surpassing 70% in April and May, showcasing the region’s enduring appeal.

In Quintana Roo, key destinations like Cancún, Puerto Morelos, and Isla Mujeres report occupancy rates between 71% and 80% this week, with the continental zone of Isla Mujeres leading, followed closely by Cancún. Puerto Morelos, however, experiences a slight dip, a typical pattern for this time of year. According to the Cancún, Puerto Morelos, and Isla Mujeres Hotel Association, nearly 100,000 tourists are currently vacationing in the area, drawn by its sun-soaked beaches, archaeological sites, and theme parks.

The current influx of tourists in Cancún predominantly comprises North Americans. Still, there’s also a significant presence of European and Latin American visitors despite recent visa restrictions in several regions.

Mexico and Turkey Strengthen Ties with New Air Routes

At the federal level, Torruco’s efforts in Istanbul aim to boost tourist arrivals and enhance air connectivity and investment between Mexico and Turkey. Before concluding his tenure at Sectur, he visited France as part of the same initiative. The “Operation Knock on Doors” strategy was outlined at Mexico’s last Tourism Marketplace in Acapulco, marking the beginning of Torruco’s farewell tour.

In Istanbul, Torruco, alongside José Luis Martínez Hernández, Mexico’s Ambassador to Turkey, and María Isabel Arvide Limón, the Consul of Mexico in Istanbul, met with significant tourism stakeholders. The seminar “This is Mexico” was presented to nearly 100 tour operators and included representatives like Muhammed Fatih Durmaz, vice president of Turkish Airlines for the Americas, and Müberra Eresin, president of the Turkish Hotel Association.

Torruco highlighted the importance of tourism to Mexico’s economy and discussed new tourism products and significant infrastructure projects like the Maya Train and various airport developments. He emphasized destinations popular among tourists, including Cancún, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, and Mexico City. He also pointed out the country’s rich offerings in nature and adventure tourism, cultural experiences, and culinary delights, capturing the interest of many at the seminar.

Mexico and Turkey Strengthen Ties with New Air Routes
Miguel Torruco, head of Mexico’s Federal Tourism Department (Sectur)

Furthermore, during his stay in Istanbul, Torruco conducted a meeting with Cengiz Deveci, a prominent tour operator who employs over 1,600 people and brings a significant number of tourists from Turkey and other major international markets to Mexico. They discussed the launch of the first charter and transatlantic flight from the Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA) to Sofia, Bulgaria, set for May 17, which will mark the first direct connection between Mexico and the Balkans.

The efforts appear to bear fruit, as the number of Turkish tourists visiting Mexico has significantly increased. In 2023, 37,813 Turkish citizens visited Mexico, marking a 115.2% increase from 2019, with a corresponding 186.9% rise in tourist spending to $42.576 million. In the first two months of 2024 alone, 6,125 Turkish visitors spent approximately $7.728 million.

This proactive approach by Mexican tourism officials underscores the potential of international markets and demonstrates a strategic effort to sustain and expand Mexico’s tourism industry amidst global challenges.


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