According to the Tourism Promotion Council (CPT), Mexico has a variety of convention and exhibition centers, with spaces ranging from 13,000 to 960,000 square feet in more than 56 destinations, including major cities, beaches and colonial cities.
The total value of meetings in our country -which include conventions and corporate or business meetings, association conferences, trade fairs and exhibitions, and incentive events, among others- amounts to $24.97 billion dollars, according to the study “The economic relevance of meetings in Mexico 2016,” prepared by CPT.
The sector, explains the same document, generates a total of 890,841 jobs and contributes to 1.5% of Gross National Product (GNP).
The figures are positive, however, could be much better. To develop the maximum potential of the industry, the first thing that the authorities and the private initiative should do is an analysis of the weaknesses and strengths that we have as a country.
As CPT’s analysis reveals, there are several aspects in our favour. One of them is the friendliness, hospitality and service attitude of service providers and, in general, of Mexicans.
Another, one of the most important in the current situation, is the openness of our country’s economy, which has facilitated the way we do business. “Mexico has become a noble and attractive market for foreign investors,” the study emphasizes.
The strengths are on the table and are the result of the sustained effort that has been made to consolidate them. But what are the areas in which work is most needed to achieve growth in business tourism?
One of the main weaknesses of our country, detected by the Tourism Promotion Council, is the negative perception generated by insecurity. This phenomenon, according to what was recently pointed out by the Mexican Employers Confederation (Coparmex), could reverse the progress that Mexico has registered in tourism in recent years.
The greater the industrial development, the greater the tourist development?
The outstanding development that certain industries have shown in our country, besides being a fundamental factor for Mexico’s economic growth, represents one of the elements that have driven business tourism.
In this regard, the CPT made a brief analysis of the state of these sectors, according to their contribution to this tourism segment, where it exposes:
- Automotive: A growing number of corporate meetings and regional exhibitions are being generated as a result of the increase in foreign investment in this area.
- Technology: The number of events linked to information technology and software development is growing and by their nature have modified the formats, changing the paradigms.
- Pharmaceutical and medical market: There is a growth of medical events, including the expansion of the exhibition areas of the congresses.
- Government events: The number of government events has not decreased, however, they are perceived as risky given their contracting and payment conditions. In general, budgets have been reduced.
- Financial and Insurance: They have a larger budget than other events and they invest particularly in production issues.
- Energy (gas, oil, etc.): Much more activity was expected and the expectation was very high due to the Energy Reform that the federal government promoted, however, there are still few events in this industry.
The benefits that meeting tourism can bring to the country are many. Mexico must work on its strengths, but above all on its weaknesses, to increase its competitiveness and consolidate itself as one of the best destinations for doing business.