Baja California

Indicators show tourism's regrowth in Baja California

Director of SECTURE, Juan Tintos Funcke, believes that the efforts made in the last few years have given results

"We're working and we're getting there" the indicators sure point that way, especially on behalf o the event organizers and tourism service providers, which Funcke says have seen an increase in American tourists. "For example there is an indicator which continues to surprise me. Sport Fishing", the secretary confirms that the sale of Sport Fishing permits has increased by 77%.

"Baja California has not fully recovered yet" but he says with confidence that "we will deliver a sector that's on the fast track to recovery", he states that there is still a lot of infrastructure needed despite the budget increase for roads and border crossings.

With all these issues accounted for, "You can see that there has been investment in equipment, private investment, promotion, publicity and public relations, training and of course better planning", the director of SECTURE has also prepared a list of competitive diagnostics so the next administration "what to do in the mid to long term" for the different sectors like the culinary industry (especially the wine production area), health tourism, meetings etc.

What are the pending issues that are left?

"There are a lot of tourism sectors that have great potential", from social tourism for those who don't have a lot to spend when on vacation, to ecological adventure tourism. "It's not so much that they've been left behind, but there are certain tendencies which gain strength a lot quicker than others", although he mentions that "the key is to not only focus on a single thing" or a single aspect of a specific sector, point out how the Wine country in Baja California was transformed into something with a lot more variety.

Baja California Center
Baja California Center

He also talked a bit about the progress of the Baja California Center, the new metropolitan convention center that was inaugurated last April. "It will take about 5 or 6 years for it to get out of the red" speaking of the center the Secretary admits, but he points out that the objective is not to make a place that makes profit or rather has a 0 balance in their operations, but rather benefits the economy around it by making events that bring the region profit, which is something that is already taking place. "Fortunately this convention center has had a great start and has surprised a lot of people", because only 4 months since it started it's operation, it has had one of the most important tourism events in the country, and has managed to provide a space for events which used to avoid the city due to a lack of establishments that were properly conditioned for their needs.

As far as foreign markets that go beyond the southern United States, Funcke made it clear that this tourism recovery focused at first in bringing back the market which it had lost, starting Nationally and internationally with the United States, but that the efforts are quickly attracted other markets, like China which has shown it's interest in the region.

Jose.Sanchez@sandiegored.com

Daniel.Aguilar@sandiegored.com

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