mexico 1All Images: Ilona Kauremszky

Rodrigo Esponda, regional director of the Mexico Tourism Board in North America and the Consul General of Mexico in Toronto, Mauricio Toussaint.

By Ilona Kauremszky

You know the meetings industry is serious business to destinations that include a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open a trade show booth at a long established trade event.

That was the case recently in Toronto at IncentiveWorks. The annual event around for over 20 years has been dubbed as “Canada's largest and longest running education and trade show event for the meetings, incentive travel and special events industry.”

Rodrigo Esponda, regional director of the Mexico Tourism Board in North America alongside the Consul General of Mexico in Toronto, Mauricio Toussaint participated in the honours with a lively, performing mariachi band.

mexicoMariachi band performs with the (left) Consul General of Mexico in Toronto, Mauricio Toussaint and Rodrigo Esponda, regional director of the Mexico Tourism Board in North America.

“IncentiveWorks is a good platform to showcase the best destinations and the best suppliers that Mexico has to offer. The incentive industry allows Mexico to really get out of the box on what a traditional incentive program can be,” said Espondo, noting that Mexico has a lot to offer corporate travel agents and event planners who are interested in a diverse portfolio for their business clients.

“You go to Mexico and can combine staying on a beach and visiting an archaeological site that was built two thousand years ago,” Esponda explained. “There is no other destination that can provide this type of experience in an incentive program.”

Convention Centres

Mexico currently has 56 convention centres supported as either a state government or privately owned venues.

The state capital of Jalisco, Guadalajara boasts the largest convention facility in Mexico and Latin America. Expo Guadalajara is located in the heart of Guadalajara with over 4000 rooms available within walking distance.

mexicoZaira Gutierrez, public relations representative with the Guadalajara Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“We have all the Mexican traditions in one place. Jalisco is Mexico is our slogan,” said Zaira Gutierrez, public relations representative with the Guadalajara Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Agents need to keep Monterrey on the radar. “This city has two convention centres with another new one currently being developed,” Esponda said about the upcoming meetings facility which has a projected 2017 completion date.

In Mexico City the Centro Banamex is the largest meetings facility in Mexico City. “It is state of the art and close to Polanco,” he noted of the venue that's located near the playground of the rich and famous.

Luxury Boutique

A new luxury boutique hotel, the 103-room Grand Residences Riviera Cancun, which opened in December 2013 promises refined luxury.

mexicoLourdes Ojeda Borges, international sales manager for the Grand Residences Riviera Cancun.

Located in Peurto Morelos, the sand and surf hot spot appeals to planners and agents seeking more intimate, smaller spaces. “We have one meeting room that can fit 140 people and we are focusing on incentive groups,” said Lourdes Ojeda Borges, international sales manager for the Grand Residences Riviera Cancun, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World.

The Mexico Tourism Board reports the meetings industry in Mexico overall provides two percent of the national GDP.

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