Sep 102015

We have seen numerous examples in previous posts of Mexico’s astonishingly diverse attractions for international tourism. Having succeeded in attracting mass tourism (e.g. Cancún, Ixtapa, Huatulco), Mexico has sought to diversify its tourism appeal by developing niche markets for visitors with special interests, such as cuisine, adventure tourism, historic sites and health-related holidays.

Mexico’s tourism development agency, FONATUR, recently announced it is seeking help from Spain’s leading cultural tourism firm, Paradores de Turismo, to establish a network of Paradores (luxury hotels in historic buildings) in Mexico. Frequent travelers to Spain will be more than familiar with the Paradores system there which offers visitors the chance to stay in some unique historical buildings without sacrificing too many creature comforts.

Route followed by Cortés, 1519-1521. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Route followed by Cortés, 1519-1521. Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Click to enlarge.

In Mexico, a “History Tourism Plan” is being developed by FONATUR and the Federación de Haciendas, Estancias y Hoteles Históricos de México. In the first stage, an inventory will be compiled of the best existing haciendas, monasteries and other historic buildings that already are, or could be converted to, hotels. At the same time, experts will be discussing which “routes” offer the best combinations and provide most interest to tourists. Routes will be developed to highlight specific themes.

The first route to be proposed is The Route of Cortés, linking properties in five states: Veracruz, Puebla, Tlaxcala, State of Mexico and the Federal District (see map). This is a timely idea given that the 500th Anniversary of the arrival of Cortés and his journey to central Mexico comes in 2019.

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  4 Responses to “Mexico, paradores and the Route of Cortés”

  1. Mexico is indeed a marvelous country to visit but unfortunately the news in Europe about crime in Mexico is far too bloody and well reported in the EU and the USA.
    In the last 6 to 7 years I have given up on driving around Mexico because of the insecurity and stopped going to some places I used to frequently or occasionally visit.

    Until the graphic and bafflingly horrendous killings stop Mexico will not develop its tourist trade.

    Even then I’m not sure blazing a trail with Luxury Hotels and routes is the way to go. India was a backpackers delight for years, then began receiving return visits from former backpackers who had aged and gone upscale even retiring their for 6 months of the year.

    A good national youth and family hostel system (common in Europe) would go a long way to boosting adventurous youth tourists who might not spend much on their first visits but as returning tourists would spend more.

    First ,Mexico need s a competent government interested in the safety and welfare of its people. Oh well ….. I don’t mind being the only Brit spending Christmas busing around the 3 states of the Yucatan Peninsula.

  2. Seems a similar strategy could be applied to the Spanish Missions of Baja California with a very obvious and strong connection to the missions in California/U.S.?….perhaps even creating a sponsoring CA mission for each mission of Baja California?

  3. Thanks for your comment. While I don’t think the “luxury hotel” routes are the only way to go, they would certainly be valuable additions to Mexico’s tourist offerings, provided the “paradores” are managed as efficiently as I found them to be in Spain years ago.

  4. Good point, and there are many, many other routes that would be a great fit for this form of tourism. As we’ve highlighted previously, there are literally hundreds of haciendas waiting for their chance! eg

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