Miguel Cantú
Director General
Corporation for Touristic Development of Nuevo Leon (CODETUR NL)
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View from the Top

Creating Extraordinary Experiences

Sat, 12/01/2018 - 14:50

Q: Nuevo Leon has traditionally been seen as an investment destination. What strategies is CODETUR following to also position the state as a tourism destination?

A: We are working on a campaign called Nuevo Leon Extraordinario, which offers visitors extraordinary experiences in a number of areas, including sports, nature, culture, health, adventure, urban and well-being, which is basically medical tourism. It also targets meetings and reunions. The purpose is to showcase the state’s best tourism assets.

Adventure tourism also aims to highlight the state’s natural resources and eco-tourism activities that can be found in the southern part of the state. Our urban experience is particularly important because it highlights our metropolitan areas and caters to our business tourism, which makes up around 70 percent of the state’s visitors. We are using social media to promote the campaign. However, our efforts to promote tourism in the state do not stop there. The private sector is also an important participant in this effort since it is the main generator of investment and employment in the industry.

Q: What impact have these efforts had on tourism rates?

A: The number of tourists to Nuevo Leon increased 16 percent in the first six months of 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016 and the arrival of passengers to Monterrey airport increased 9 percent during the same period. This growth has been accompanied by the opening of new flights and destinations. One of the most representative examples is the direct flight that Aeroméxico has just launched between Monterrey and Seoul, South Korea.

Q: What infrastructure developments will help boost the tourism industry?

A: One project in particular will help to formalize tourism in Nuevo Leon: the De la Boca dam, which is an asset that we have yet to capitalize on. It is a really nice place but lacks the regulations and development required to make it a tourist destination. It is a long-term development, led by the Ministry of Economy and Labor of Nuevo Leon with support from the federal Ministry of Tourism. It is expected to cost over MX$2 billion.

Q: How can Nuevo Leon capitalize on the business tourism that the state usually receives?

A: We have three particular objectives regarding these visitors. The first is for them to return with their families. The second is to convince them to stay an additional night when they come on business trips. Our third objective is more related to the local population. People from Nuevo Leon travel a lot, so we want them to travel around the state and get to know all we have to offer. We are also developing our Pueblos Mágicos offering through several projects that will boost the visibility of these towns.

Q: Is there a particular area that has potential but which the state has yet to capitalize on?

A: In Mina, there is an archeologic area that we want to position as a tourism destination. The zone has been protected by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and we want this area to be designated as a protected area by UNESCO. The existence of petroglyphs in the state represents a breakthrough in the sense that the northern region of the country usually does not have archeological features.

Q: What challenges do you see for the consolidation of the state’s tourism sector?

A: The main challenge is to increase investment. We know the industry is expanding and that one of the best ways for the industry to continue growing is to continue investing in it, but the investment has to come from both the public and private sectors. Unfortunately, federal budget funding has been fairly limited in the last few years. Nevertheless, we believe that in four years we will have positioned Nuevo Leon as a tourism center with a well-known and appreciated brand.