Puerto Vallarta, located in the Mexican Pacific, is one of the best examples of the recovery of the tourism industry after the pandemic in Latin America. Luis Villaseñor, director of the Tourism Promotion Trust of Puerto Vallarta, says that in this destination, we no longer speak of recovery but of growth, thanks to the extraordinary arrival figures of national and international tourists.
“We are breaking the record for domestic and international passenger arrivals. In August, we were up 38% from the same month in 2019, in terms of international arrivals,” Villaseñor told TravelPulse. According to the promoter of this major tourist destination, North America has been the main driver that has made this tourism boom possible.
“The United States accounts for more than three-quarters of international visitors, and just over a quarter come from California. Los Angeles is the city that transports the most passengers, followed by San Francisco, and the third largest city in the country is Chicago. After the United States, Canada is the second largest country that sends tourists to Puerto Vallarta.
The strategy put in place by Mexican authorities to keep borders open during the pandemic has benefited the industry by maintaining the frequency of flights from US and Canadian cities. “Since the beginning of last year, we have reinstalled all our routes with the United States, and with Canada this year we have managed to bring together the 14 cities that fly directly to Puerto Vallarta,” says Villaseñor. Puerto Vallarta’s tourism manager explains that it is the Latin American destination that directly connects the largest number of cities.
The Puerto Vallarta area is home to approximately 30,000 Americans and Canadians, which the official said proves the excellent perception of safety at the destination. “We have a green and pink font, for the LGBTQ+ community; we are the leading destination in this segment in Latin America. Additionally, he says Puerto Vallarta has tourist offices to help expats and the LGBTQ+ community, offering assistance with bilingual guidance and an attorney’s office.
Wellness tourism for retirees and a sustainable airport
The tourism strategy of this destination includes the development of accommodation facilities for national or international seniors who wish to retire in Puerto Vallarta and take advantage of the good infrastructure of its hospitals.
“This year we are boosting retirement wellness tourism. There are two profiles of retirees: those who are physically active and change their residence, and retirees with chronic degenerative diseases or mobility problems who are looking for places with better weather and a pleasant vacation experience,” explains Villaseñor, pointing out that many retirement homes have swimming pools, aerobics, nutritionists, 24-hour doctors, and downtown walks, among other things. “For many foreigners living in, say, Milwaukee, where the weather is very extreme, Puerto Vallarta is a great place.”
Another part of the strategy is the renovation of Puerto Vallarta International Airport, with a major investment to make it the first terminal in Latin America to meet net-zero rainwater harvesting standards, and the installation solar energy panels to light the terminal. , as well as geothermal solutions to cool and heat the water and the various spaces of the terminal.
According to Luis Villaseñor, 2022 will be very important for Puerto Vallarta in terms of tourist influx. “We expect over 100 million users at Puerto Vallarta International Airport and an occupancy rate of over 75%, up from 71% in 2019.”
For the latest news, updates and travel deals, subscribe to TravelPulse daily newsletter.