From March 25th to March 28th Puerto Vallarta, a holiday destination in Mexico’s Pacific coast, hosted Mexico’s tourism fair of 2012, locally called the Tianguis Turistico. The event is usually held in Acapulco, but because of safety concerns it has been decided that starting this year it will be held in a different city within the country each year, thus giving exposure to smaller cities and generating much needed income too. The was to gather more than 100 tourism and travel related businesses under a single roof and thus I decided to pop by and speak with PR people of companies I could be interested in working with.
The even was held in the Convention Center of Puerto Vallarta, a modern and well built structure built in an somehow isolated location in order to increase local traffic as little as possible. I had booked my pass a few weeks before and showed up at around 10 am- I was told I’d have to go to the Press area, identify myself, get my badge, and proceed. But alas, this was not to be. Felipe Calderon, Mexico’s pretty much outgoing president, had decided to drop by in an unannounced and as a result mayhem had incurred. The ticket booths were relocated to the parking lot in the wee hours of the morning because of his safety and this had resulted in almost all advance registrations being lost. With nothing else to do all visitors were queued under the blazing sun and had to wait in line for up to 4 hours! I was do not have this kind of patience when it comes to lack of organization, so after some asking and fiddling around I managed to find another counter that was giving away Visitor passes belonging to other people as long as you identified yourself with some sort of ID. So much for the president’s safety!
Anyhow, once inside things were quite different. The location was well appointed and the stands were well organized and designed. Most of them belonged to each of Mexico’s 31 states’ official local tourism agencies, but there were a few private ones as well, mainly airlines, bus companies and tour enterprises.
And so I began to zig-zag along the main halls stopping at each stand to expose my blog and get some insight as to what there is to do in each state, and perhaps most importantly show my free Mexico Travel Guide and get some feedback from big name businesses. The result was much better than what I had predicted and I am quite sure that good things are to come from my two day visit, results you’ll be able to see in this blog in the near future!
After almost two days of advocating for my blog and speaking with PR individuals of most of the travel businesses present I had had enough and chose to have some fun with the travel show attendants by shooting the video you can see too, it being the wrap-up of my first travel show experience. What are my thoughts?
This has been my first travel show attendance ever, and I’m quite sure it will not be the last. In just two days I was able to meet many people in the business and get many leads for future projects, as well as feedback on some of my current ones. It was also a great opportunity for me to present travel blogs as a modern, competitive and knowledgeable means of travel communication accessible to everybody at little or no cost, and it was this perhaps that allowed me to differentiate businesses and people who are up-to-date on technology and modern travel trends and those who still behave like dinosaurs, moving around in big leaps and crushing too many useful resources along the way.
Note: If you’re reading this article via RSS you will not be getting a video I filmed there. This link will take you to it.
Have you ever visited a tourism or travel show? Which? Did it result in anything beneficial for you? Please share your experience in the comments section below, and this post too if you liked it!