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News Article

Virtual Tourism Tianguis: Innovation in Times of Social Distance

By Alessa Flores | Fri, 07/17/2020 - 15:09

The Digital Tourism Tianguis (Tianguis Turísico) will host  its first edition September 23 to 24, with more than 1,000 national and international participating exhibitors and tourism places in Mexico, according to a note from the Economista. The Tianguis Turísico is considered the most relevant business forum event in Mexico's Tourism sector based on pre-established appointments between buyers and exhibitors. 

However, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tianguis Turísico had to innovate and decided to carry out this great event digitally. In previous years, the event brought together more than 700 companies from five continents, generated more than 40,000 business appointments and hosted more than 500 exhibiting companies. Among the exhibitors were independent and chain hotels, tourism representations of the 32 states of Mexico , fairgrounds, among others. On the buyers´ side, the presence of tour operators, wholesalers, travel agents and tourism associations, incentive houses and event, congress and convention organizers, among many other buyers was expected.

Despite being a digital event, the Tianguis Turísico expects to have great success and next year the event will take place in Mérida, Yucatán from March 21 to 24, according to the Ministry of Tourism. Miguel Torruco Minister of Tourism, told the Economista that the event "is the result of an innovation strategy that is so necessary in present times , its objective is to contribute  to the revival of Mexico's tourism activity, one of the sectors most affected by the current global health crisis."

For his part, in an official statement on the page of the Tianguis Turístico, Mauricio Vila, Governor of Yucatan explained that "the economic crisis the world is going through is changing many things, but also this situation represents an opportunity for the reinvention of tourism. There is not and there will be no time to lose. Hence this strategy with a new format  will allow us to have present two branches in Yucatan: a digital branch in the September and a face-to-face venue in March 2021." Likewise, Vila explained that the objective of the new modality is  the reactivation and implementation of this strategic industry -  that will be used to send a strong message to the whole world that Mexico has resumed its agenda and that It will boost the tourism industry stronger  than before. 

Currently,  tourism figures in Mexico are not very encouraging. According to a report by the Economista with figures from the INEGI International Traveler Surveys, the number of international tourist entries to the country contracted 78.5 percent during April 2020. A year ago, the EVI had revealed that Mexico received in the same period more than 3.6 million visitors. In addition, the survey revealed that international aviation and transportation have been among the hardest hit sectors by the pandemic. 

Finally, due to the great contraction in the arrival of international tourists, the industry is betting on national tourism for its recovery.  The CREA company, which is in charge of managing the Virtual Tourist Guide, explained that the sector's recovery process will be based on  "national tourists will choose to make short trips with a range of three to five hours by road." Therefore, some of the strategies developed by tourist actors should be focused on this trend.

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Alessa Flores Alessa Flores Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst