Government Announces VisitMexico 2.0By Jan Hogewoning | Wed, 08/26/2020 - 14:51
On Aug. 25, Minister of Tourism Miguel Torruco presented a new digital tourism platform that aims to digitally transform the tourism sector. The platform, called VisitMexico, is a website meant to guide visitors to their destinations of choice through search functions. In the short term, travel agencies will be able to sell their products through the website, in what the government sees as a democratizing tool that opens the door to all travel agencies, big and small. At the physical presentation of the platform was the president of Mexican Association of Travel Agencies (AMAV), Eduardo Paniagua. “For the first time we have an equal playing field. Travel agencies are often small businesses without the capacity to compete with the big players, whether physically or digitally,” he said. Without any added costs, hotels, restaurants and transport companies will also be allowed to participate in this new venture.
This is not the first time a VisitMexico platform has been launched to attract visitors to the country. Past versions, El Economista writes, were haunted by hacks. The government is determined to avoid this. The platform is operated by a search engine tool of Braintivity, a company presided by ex-CEO of COMEX, Marcos Achar. This company raised a total of US$2.7 million. In addition, the government announced a collaboration with digital infrastructure provider Akamai, which claims will ensure fast and reliable operation. Nonetheless, El Economista points out, there were already several issues with the website as of yesterday. Links to the websites of the main sponsors, Aeroméxico and Nivada, were broken. In addition, upon MBN’s inspection, the search tool does not provide any options yet of travel agencies, hotels, restaurants or transport providers. Eduardo Paniagua pointed out that the platform is a work in progress that will be developed according to the needs of authorities and businesses. Important to note is that the platform is not funded by public money.
It remains to be seen if the platform will have a similar fate of relative irrelevance to its predecessor, overshadowed by large travel platforms such as Expedia and Booking.com. Perhaps, the next step is developing a mobile application and mechanisms that would benefit repeat users. Meanwhile, the tourism sector is desperately awaiting the return to normality.