“Nayarit offers everything visitors expect from Mexico”: Juan Enrique Suárez del Real Tostado, Minister of Tourism, State of Nayarit
Nayarit is located along the Mexican Pacific Coast, stretching between the larger cities of Mazatlan in the north and Puerta Vallarta in the south. With 27,815 square kilometers, Nayarit is one of the smallest coastal states in Mexico. But it is however rich in culture, tastes, history, colours. It truly is an incarnation of all the assets offered by Mexico, as outlined by Juan Enrique Suarez del Real Tostado, Narayit’s Minister of Tourism.
What are the tourism assets of the State of Nayarit in Mexico that you would like to highlight to overseas and European markets?
Juan Enrique Suarez del Real Tostado- The beauty of the State of Narayit is that it offers everything visitors would expect of a holiday in Mexico. It offers flavours, tastes, colours, culture, history. We are a cradle of true, authentic Mexican culture. For the tourist this region offers wonderfully scenic hiking trails around impressive waterfalls, rivers and volcanic craters; stunning bird watching locations, magical towns, archaeological sites and culinary routes with fresh products from the mountains, the sea as well as tropical fruit and excellent coffee. We also offer wonderful beaches with great hotels, including luxurious resorts.
What are the European source markets that the State of Nayarit wants to target predominantly and why?
Europe is a very important market for Nayarit. The size of the market is huge and its potential to grow towards Mexico is very interesting. It’s a market with long stays and interesting expenditure levels. It represents a source of diversification and also because of the high investment level that we have from European groups, in the region, for example from Spanish hotel groups. In 2022, our primary market is Spain due to its strong cultural proximity. We are pointing our efforts at creating a direct flight from Spain, and we are already launching a campaign towards Spanish travellers. We are looking also at the UK due to its existing direct connectivity to the region since 2014. The German-speaking market is definitely a priority as we have detected interest from the industry and consumer. I believe that Nayarit’s offerings correspond well to what German, Austrian and Swiss travellers are looking for when travelling to tropical destinations.
Where does Nayarit want to position itself and what will Nayarit’s positioning strategy be in the short term? Does Nayarit promote itself with other States in Mexico?
We are lucky to have Riviera Nayarit with its numerous hotels. Combined with neighbouring Puerto Vallarta in the state of Jalisco (with whom we share an international airport), Riviera Nayarit is already Mexico’s second most visited beach destination. From that well-known destination, the second step will be to bring visitors to less-known places within the Nayarit state. In terms of international strategy, we will work on differenciating products, tours and routes within the state.
What is for you the ‘must-do’, most iconic tourism destination for Europeans and why?
Nayarit has it all! Beside Riviera Nayarit’s resorts, our nature is so diverse that it turns all the state into a unique icon. I think about the Ceboruco volcano and the nearby Jala village, designed as a “magical town” by the government due to its colonnial architecture and culture. There is also the estuary and mangrove swamps of La Tovara Nature reserve, the Island of Mezcaltitán, the Marismas Nacionales mangroves with over 250 species of birds; or the Marietas Island where visitors can very often observe dolphins and humpback whales in the winter. In its picturesque mountain micro-destinations, Nayarit offers a variety of activities such as swimming in its waterfalls, abseiling, relaxing in traditional temazcal baths or hiking through nature.
Very important is also experiencing our Mexican communities. Nayarit has four indigenous groups living mostly in the Highlands. They are the Wixarika (also known as Huichol), the Naayeri, the Odam (Tepehuan) and the Nahuatl-speaking Mexicaneros. They have their own traditions, culinary dishes, craft and spiritual life. The diversity of our small State is something unique compared to other places in Mexico.
How do you integrate ITB Berlín 2023 in your marketing strategy?
First of all, we are thrilled that ITB Berlin is planning to go live in person again. It’s with no doubt a sign that we as an industry are ready more than ever. The exhibition has been part of our annual calendar of international events and will help us reconnect with German-speaking and other key European markets. We will also take the opportunity to promote our State been elected American Capital of Culture 2024. Throughout 2024, Nayarit will offer both its inhabitants and visitors an interesting and diverse cultural agenda that will be announced in due course. So we hope to see you at ITB Berlin in 2023!