Is It The Year Of Mexico?

There seems to be a resurgence in travel to Mexico—or maybe Americans never stopped traveling there during covid. We talked to Mauricio Aceves, Vice President of Business Development at Grupo Posadas, which is one of the largest hotel operators in Mexico, about the changing landscape of travel, why Mexico continues to be a top choice for Americans and how things are looking two years into the pandemic.

How is Mexico faring in this new reality that is covid?

Mexico has always been a go-to destination for American travelers thanks to its proximity. In the pandemic years, it became a haven for Americans who needed to get out of the house and enjoy some uninterrupted, distant fresh air. Mexico as a whole was able to bounce back quickly in the tourism sector, partly because it was one of the first countries to reopen in 2020, welcoming travelers quickly and without restrictions like COVID-19 testing. Although we did experience a dip in bookings during the months our hotels were closed, La Colección Resorts by Fiesta Americana had a rapid recovery with 2020 occupancy being at 70% for most properties—which was the max percentage allowed at the time. Today, we returned to our usual pre-covid booking levels and expect to exceed them as instability in other regions, inflation rate increases and demand for more accessible travel continues to guide Americans towards Mexican destinations.

Post-pandemic effects continue to impact travelers, especially through the recent increase in flight cancelations. Flight uncertainty has led to a preference for vacations that are close in proximity where travelers can avoid taking long-haul flights or routes that are limited in back-up flights in case of cancellation. This surge in cancellations has aided in the continued increase of travel to Mexico.

What trends are you seeing?

The most notable trend we’ve witnessed is the increased interest in the host destination’s culture. Travelers are seeking to fully immerse themselves in the traditions of the places they visit. Travelers are able to achieve this easily in Mexico due to the currency flexibility, and until recently, Europe’s closed borders guiding them toward Mexico.

Another trend we’ve seen is an increase in bleisure, as business travelers are extending their vacations by a couple of days to experience the destination.

What are the demographics of your hotel visitors?

Grupo Posadas is one of the largest hotel operators in México and the company owns, leases, franchises, and manages over 180 properties and 28,000 rooms. La Colección Resorts by Fiesta Americana is an umbrella brand within Grupo Posadas that encompasses beach and urban resorts located throughout México. Operated by Posadas, the brands within La Colección Resorts by Fiesta Americana include Live Aqua Resorts & Residence Club, Grand Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts, Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts, The Explorean Discovery Resorts, and Curamoria Collection.

La Colección Resorts has a diverse demographic of various markets, with Mexicans and Americans leading the occupation percentages. The domestic market ranges from 30 – 50% based on the destination and seasonality, while the American market dominates the beach resorts, exceeding 40% and accounting for 10 – 15% in urban resorts.

How is a sense of place incorporated in each hotel?

If you look at three different properties from La Colección Resorts — Grand Fiesta Americana Chapultepec, Fiesta Americana Hacienda Galindo Resort & Spa and Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende—there are many aspects of these destinations that set them apart, but they all have in common their recognition as UNESCO World Heritage sites for their deep-rooted culture.

Mexico City is renowned for its arts and cultural scene. The old Aztec capital is the country’s economic and cultural hub, and it is filled with various well-known museums like the Frida Kahlo Museum. Grand Fiesta Americana Chapultepec has an amazing location in Mexico City—walking distance from the iconic National Auditorium. The hotel is also next to one of the largest urban parks in the western hemisphere, Chapultepec Forest. This park is home to a zoo, several museums, a botanical garden, a recreational lake, a castle, and the Montezuma Baths archaeological site.

History buffs travel to Queretaro for its rich history and baroque architecture—including the Convent Church of St. Francis of Assis. Fiesta Americana Hacienda Galindo Resort & Spa is a historical property with a rich history. According to legend, Hernán Cortés gave this 16th-century hacienda to his advisor and interpreter, La Malinche, as a gift for her loyalty. Today, the hotel is seeped in Mexican culture and has nine acres of landscaped gardens and greenery. The guestrooms and suites reflect the history and heritage of the hacienda with warm tones and local style like four-poster beds, ornately patterned carpets, and colorfully stenciled walls. On Sundays the resort’s patio transforms into a Mexican marketplace offering traditional cuisine of Galindo such as handmade tortillas, more than 50 varieties of fruit, stews, quesadillas, and egg dishes.

San Miguel de Allende is known for its well-preserved, colonial Spanish architecture. Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende is known for its architecture, unique artworks, and textures in guest rooms. Details like mosaic floors are found inside the hotel and can be found throughout San Miguel de Allende’s historical and touristic sites.

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