The Consejo de Promoción Turistica de México, the main public body for Mexican tourism, is closing all of its 21 international offices.
Much of the available budget – about 290 million euros – has been hijacked to finance the construction of the Maya Train, a railway that will cover the entire Mayan peninsula.
At the moment, only the offices of New York, Tokyo, and Berlin will remain open with limited staff, but that of Rome, for example, will be closed by the end of February 2019.
In fact, the director of the Mexican Tourism Office in Italy, Ms. Sarina Alvarez, has already sent a goodbye letter to fellow operators and to the press in which she thanked all the partners, underlining “to have been lucky for having had the opportunity to work with the Italian tourism industry.”
“It was a pleasure and a privilege to work to promote the wonders of Mexico in your incredible country,” said Alvarez. “I spent fourteen wonderful years in your company, during which I grew professionally, and I was able to achieve important goals in my career.”
Alvarez has assured, however, that it is her intention to continue to take care of the tourist promotion of Mexico with a different role.
In any case, the dismantling of the Mexican tourist offices abroad has given rise to no small surprise among the operators. Currently the Mexican tourist promotion represented about 70% of the Consejo de Promocion Turistica de Mexico, while 20% of the resources were to the prerogative of Fonatur, a body that finances the development of tourism infrastructures.
The Consejo de Promocion Turistica de Mexico, has not specified how they will service the Italian market in terms of information requested by the travel trade and the public.
This follows the decision that was taken by the India Tourism Head Office New Delhi on June 2018, motivating that “in a globalized Internet-driven world, their representation offices are no longer required, and their Frankfurt European head office would take care of the European markets.”
So far, this corresponds very weakly to reality, at least as far as Italy is concerned. Will the Consejo de Promocion Turistica de Mexico copy and paste their decision? For sure, this escalating trend is becoming a concern for other foreign tourism offices in Italy.
One can only wonder, who is next?