We had earlier reported that the federal Tourism Secretariat (Sectur) was about to announce the end of the Magic Towns program. Tourism has since announced that the program will continue at least into next year. [Thanks to reader Jess for her report that the Tourism Secretariat has since announced that the program is being continued, and that there will be 52 Magic Towns by 2012.] The Magic Towns program, founded a decade ago, offered federal funds to promote tourism in towns and small cities throughout Mexico that were not traditional “sun and sand” tourism resorts or destinations.
The most likely towns to be added to the list are:
- El Oro (Mexico state)
- Mineral del Pozo (Guanajuato)
- Sombrerete (Zacatecas)
- Catemaco (Veracruz)
- Calvillo (Aguascalientes)
A further 70 towns are reportedly seeking accreditation. Some of these applicants are now likely to join similar promotional groupings such as “Pueblos con Encanto” (Towns with Charm) and “Pueblos Señoriales” (Noble Towns).
Following their designation, many Magic Towns have found it much easier to attract private investments in restaurants, hotels, guide services and similar tourism-related services.
One of the very first Magic Towns established—the island community of Mezcaltitán in Nayarit—was stripped of its Magic Town status in 2009 for having failed to keep its streets and building facades clean and for not having limited the activities of informal street vendors.