The Real Baja

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

Indicators show tourism's regrowth in Baja CaliforniaCourtesy Secretary of Tourism of the State of Baja California
Courtesy Secretary of Tourism of the State of Baja California

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With about a Month and half away of ending his term as the Secretary of Tourism of the State of Baja California (SECTURE), Juan Benjamin Tintos Funcke trusts that, despite many matters regarding tourism left still pending, there has been a successful recovery of tourism in the state in the past three years, supporting the efforts with projects, diagnostics and over all, results.

For starters you could exemplify this success with the fact that hotel occupation in the state has increased 8% between January 2011 and June 2013, while a 10% increase has been seen in the hotel occupation in both in Tijuana and Tecate in the months of July and August in comparison to last year, while Mexicali and Ensenada have seen a 5% increase.

Between 2011 and 2012, there was a 2.4% increase in pedestrian crossing and a 3.4% increase in vehicular crossing in the state border with the United State.

Tourism indicators

January – June 2011-2013

Information provided by SECTURE and Tourism Authorities.

Another important indicator that is present near the end of his term as Secretary of Tourism, is the return of cruisers to Ensenada, given that the port was barely 6th place at a National level in 2010 as cruiser terminals, and reaching 2nd place in 2012, with a total projection of 439,000 passengers visiting the port during 2013, followed by a growth of over 50% by the year 2014, with a projection of 707,000 cruiser passengers.

There has been a great amount of support to the culinary arts in the State, Tintos affirms, a sector that includes everything from the wine country, to cheeses, dishes like the classical Caesar Salad and the Puerto Nuevo lobster, the “Baja-Med” style cooking, “urban” cooking and even home brews. “We are producing the best home brews in Mexico”, he comments, something that has been impulsed as well by the Home brewing industry in San Diego.

But the task of breathing life back in to tourism into the state is all but over due to what secretary Tintos describes as a “perfect storm”, which affected the region in the form of a sever international economic crisis, an insecurity crisis, and a health crisis caused by the H1N1 issue (bird flu), the advances made in this regard was not a task undertaken by just the Secretary of Tourism or just one man, but rather a collaborative effort on behalf of the committee of Perception and Image of Baja California, which was created in April 2011, and conformed by Tourism providers, Promotion organizations, North American residents in the State and of course SECTURE.

To understand these indicators better, Tintos said, you need to recognized the work the Committee has done in the past 3 years, which include over 54 interview tours with media, both national and International, expos, celebrity visits to the region, contests, etc.

Tinto also said that thanks to the support the Counsel for Tourism promotion in Mexico (CPTM), and that of the Federal Tourism Department, “we have begun to promote the region both in the American Market as well as the Mexican Market” in order to have Baja California promoted in National Media, as well has helping create “fanstrips” by National journalists in the region.

The return of cruisers was part of the same strategy; specifically it was a vote of trust given to the Port of Ensenada, which was achieved after a visit from the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association, FCCA.

Although it was a movement that started back in 2010-2011, the committee and SECTURE determined that culinary tourism in the region would also be a strong pillar when it came to improving the regions image, learning more about “foodies” and the importance of satisfying people with different tastes in order to create a more dynamic and integral regional cuisine that covers more than just one gastronomical area. The strategy included bringing renowned chefs to Baja California as well as promoting local chefs in an international level.

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