Tourism executives to woo more travelers from Mexico |

Tourism executives to woo more travelers from Mexico

NNBW staff

More than 368,000 travelers from Mexico visited Las Vegas last year says the Nevada Commission on Tourism, and the city was the third most visited place for Mexican travelers.

Northern Nevada, tourism executives say, also has the power to tap that market as the NCOT recently began efforts to draw even more Mexican travelers to the state.

“Mexico is Nevada’s third-largest international market and a huge potential source of visitors,” said Lt. Gov. Brian K. Krolicki, commission chair. “Research shows that internationally traveling Mexicans enjoy ski vacations, golf trips, shopping and entertainment, which Nevada offers in abundance.”

Larry Friedman, NCOT deputy director for sales and industry partners, recently visited Mexico to promote Nevada as a tourist destination and answer questions about the state for Mexican tourism officials. Northern Nevada offers many amenities, he says.

“They have a great interest in skiing, which is remarkable considering there isn’t a single ski resort in Mexico.”

Friedman says Mexican travelers love golf, and he notes that there are more than 50 golf courses an hour’s drive from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

“The No. 1 reason people travel is to visit family and friends,” he adds, “and we have a growing population of immigrants from Mexico.”

The NCOT plans on launching a Web site and producing an array of marketing literature in Spanish, as well actively promoting the area’s vacation activities with Mexico-based travel journalists, tour operators, travel agencies and airlines.

“Familiarizing Mexico’s travel industry professionals with Nevada’s attractions that interest Mexican visitors will pay off for our economy. It will take a lot of work directly with Mexican travel industry professionals if we are to succeed,” says state tourism director Tim Maland.

The largest group of Mexican visitors to the state earns about $80,000 to $99,000 a year and visits Nevada an average of nearly six nights per trip, spending about $1,333 per person.

Other area organizations also are seeking to increase revenue through Mexican tourism dollars. Russ Pecoraro, communications director for Heavenly Mountain Resort in South Lake Tahoe, says the resort offers a perfect fit of climate and culture for Mexican skiers.

“We have seen some of our other resorts have a lot of success in that market, and it is a very important market to us. We see there is potentially a lot of growth in that market, and as the premier destination resort at Lake Tahoe, it is something we are looking at seriously.”


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