Tourism in Baja California heading on the right direction

Successful summer is expected

For Escobedo, the boom of Baja Med cuisine has made local gastronomy an important tourist attraction.

"The fact that Tijuana is being mentioned internationally helps a great deal to our region" he stated.

In the same vein, he thinks this is just the beginning since every day they are more culinary schools in the state and their graduates are always looking for new ways of making the most of the region's products.

"A lot of Chefs eager to be the best are graduating".

On his part, the Secretary of Tourism, Juan Tintos Funcke, mentioned that said gastronomic boom is not entirely new since Baja California's cuisine goes way back, encompassing the creation of the Puerto Nuevo Style lobster, the Caesar Salad and the Ensenada born Margarita.

"We are in fashion nationally" he remarked "more people want to come and taste our food, drink our wines and beers".

Besides its food, Baja California has reinforced its events schedule, offering over 300 activities a year.

Concerts, Fiestas de la Vendimia (the Harvest Festival), and sports activities increase the interest shown by people from the United States as well as Mexican tourists. Again, this reflects on hotel occupancy that goes up to around 80%-90% in tourist zones like Ensenada; the port city had the busiest June in the last few years.

"We haven't recovered yet, what we are seeing is the reactivation of the tourist industry; we still need to go door to door because this needs to be a permanent effort" emphasized Tintos Funcke.

The fact that for the first time Tijuana had a soccer team competing in the top division meant important revenue for the region according to data by the COTUCO.

In line with a research paper presented last June, the Xoloitzcuintles team generated $1,039'429,761 Mexican pesos.

Regarding the tourist industry, the impact is seen as a "before, during and after" the soccer games, added COTUCO's representative.

Escobedo said that a lot of people even traveled from California to attend the matches and applauded the fact that, for this tournament, five thousand seats were added to the Caliente Stadium; now the stadium has a capacity of 20,000.

"Tijuana has a wide touristic offer" Escobedo remarked. "The tourists come and choose how to have fun; we have casinos, restaurants, taco stands, a lot of seafood, soccer and much more".

alexandra.mendoza@sandiegored.com

Translation by Karen Balderas (karen.balderas@sandiegored.com)

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