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2 INCENTIVE GROUPS THAT REDEFINE THE WORD REWARD Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts in Mexico World Class Dining Award-Winning Spas Strategically located in Riviera Nayarit - Riviera Maya - Los Cabos - Puerto Vallarta Grand Velas, Casa Velas & Velas Vallarta MEETINGS THAT GO ABOVE AND BEYOND

3 9 WHY MEXICO FOR MEETINGS 11 NEW + NOTABLE: MEXICO S NEWEST CONVENTION VENUES 17 GROUND SUPPORT: DMCS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE 22 MEXICO TOURISM BOARD: YOUR ALLY FOR PLANNING BUSINESS EVENTS 28 HOW TO GET THERE FROM HERE 32 REGIONS 34 BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA PENINSULA PARTNERS MANAGING DIRECTOR Sandra Reed DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Cristina Armenta EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Lydia Gregory TRANSLATION Jorge J. Jiménez Martínez Claudia Reynaud GRAPHIC DESIGNER Carlos Caso / KSO 44 NORTH POWERHOUSE MEETINGS 52 CENTRAL THE INDUSTRIAL HEART OF MEXICO 70 PACIFIC COASTAL CONFERENCES 82 GULF GULF COAST MEETINGS MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 Is produced by Meetings Alliance LLC in cooperation with the Mexico Tourism Board. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents. Neither the Mexico Tourism Board nor the publisher will be responsible for any errors or omissions. Copyright 2018 by Meetings Alliance, LLC. All rights reserved. 88 SOUTH FROM THE HIGHLANDS TO THE SHORE 96 YUCATAN LAND OF THE MAYA 102 MEXICAN CARIBBEAN BEACHSIDE MEETINGS Photos courtesy of: Mexico Tourism Board p.85: Voladores de Papantla in Cholula p.98: Hotel Puerta Campeche Interior CPTM / Ricardo Espinosa-reo: Cover: Catrina / p.33: Colored sawdust p.76: Marina in Manzanillo p.91: Black clay handicrafts from Oaxaca

4 WELCOME DISCOVER MEXICO: A WORLD OF ITS OWN! Cancun is the number one destination in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. Virginia Arana Dear Meeting Professional, As you well know, when it comes to meetings and events the destination can make all the difference in setting the stage for success. Mexico offers a glorious tapestry of unmatched natural beauty, a rich cultural legacy, and extraordinary experiences paired with cutting-edge venues and a strong infrastructure. In addition, you ll find an unparalleled support system provided by experienced professionals trained under international standards in the organization of meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions. Mexico is without a doubt a global player in the industry and the gateway to Latin America. It s no wonder the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranks Mexico as 5th in Latin America and 21st globally for world congresses and receives countless international corporate meetings from North America. If you ve already held a meeting or event in Mexico, the 2018 Meetings Guide To Mexico is a valuable tool for you to explore alternative locations and get a glimpse of what s new since your last visit. If you re new to Mexico, we ve done the legwork for you and put together a comprehensive look at destinations, convention centers, properties with meetings facilities, DMCs, PCOs, and much more. This is a one-stop resource we create every year to help you develop your international programs in Mexico. The business events industry is evolving and so are we along with it. Therefore, we have created a digital online version of the guide available at as well as an easy-to-navigate mobile app for Android and ios (MGMX - Meetings Guide To Mexico). On behalf of Mexico s business events industry, I d like to invite you to take a closer look at what Mexico s vibrant economy, professional workforce, and innovative meetings infrastructure can contribute to the success of your international meetings and events. We look forward to working with you. Discover Mexico: A World of its Own! Sincerely, Virginia Arana Director of Meetings Mexico Tourism Board Meetings & Conventions Abundant meeting facilities and the appropriate infrastructure to accommodate large groups, conventions, congresses, incentives and exhibitions. 900,000 sq. ft. (84,000 m2) of meeting space and up to 50 hotels with on-site meeting facilities. Zero VAT (Value Added Tax) for international meetings & 6 7

5 EXICO S SUCCESS IN THE VERY DYNAMIC AND DEMANDING business events market is driven by several factors, including its strategic location and connectivity, infrastructure, affordability, and mature supply chain. Indeed, demand for its meetings and events offering has shown no signs of slowing since its striking 10% increase in just the first two months of As of press time, Mexico ranked 5 th in the Americas for 2017 in terms of hosted events according to the International Association of Congresses and Conventions (ICCA).* Meetings, congresses, and events have accounted for 1.5% of the country s GDP, with an economic impact of US$25 billion and the range and size of these events is proof positive of its preparedness and leadership in the industry. For example, the World Ophthalmology Congress with 8,000 participants was held in Guadalajara; Mexico City hosted the World Congress of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Health with 5,000 participants and, in 2017, welcomed nearly 340 thousand spectators at the Formula Grand Prix Event. Other notable events include the 2018 Destination Wedding Planners Congress (DWP) in Los Cabos, the most important event in the wedding industry with more than 400 participants from 60 countries including the top 150 wedding planners in the world, and the 11th World Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery Meeting, to be held in Cancun in It should be noted the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery holds over 500 members in 16 different countries. (For a look at future events, please visit And while there s no doubt Mexico s embrace of innovation and market trends, and continually improving infrastructure are key to its success with meeting planners, there are two other very important factors that continue to attract business events from around the world: the country s remarkable offer of cultural tourism and natural attractions, and service and hospitality unlike any other in the world. The former which accounted for a record-breaking 39.3 million foreign travelers in 2017, a 12% growth rate over 2016 has placed it 8th on the list of the World Tourism Organization s rankings of most visited countries. The country s extraordinary tapestry of destinations, ecosystems, traditions, cuisine, architecture and much more have made it a mega-destination ripe for exploration. Meanwhile, Mexico s emphasis on higher education and close strategic partnerships with international meetings organizations has resulted in a worldclass community of globally certified professionals and service providers. The ability to hire from a multi-skilled human resource pool is both a financial and practical plus for planners. Coupled with the country s legendary hospitality and the innate warmth of its people, the reasons for meeting in Mexico come full circle. What will attract you to Mexico for your next event? * The ICCA has a registered database of international congresses that complete certain criteria; their ranking is a benchmark measurement for destinations all over the world. 9

6 PCOs AMERICAN EXPRESS ECODSA MEETING INCENTIVE EXPERTS USA ANFITRIONES / EJ KRAUSE DE MÉXICO ON TEMPO ext B.P. SERVIMED, S.A. DE C.V / 76 / 77 BCD TRAVEL BUSSINESS TRAVEL CONSULTING COMITIVA / 37 CONVENTION CENTER GROUP COORDINACIÓN Y DESARROLLO DE EVENTOS (CODEVEN) / 10 ESPENCON / EVENTIA / EVENTOS Y CONVENCIONES / GROUPS 2 GO GRUPO DESTINOS IMAGINE EVENTOS INTERNATIONAL MEETING SERVICES / 0402 / 1902 ONCE (ORGANIZACIÓN NACIONAL DE CONGRESOS Y EVENTOS) PROFESIONALES EN CONVENCIONES ext SAC SOBERANI TRAVEL / T ORGANIZA TURISMO & CONVENCIONES ONGRUENT WITH MEXICO S INCREASED GROWTH IN THE business events industry is the construction, renovation, and/or expansion of venues in several destinations across the country, both in the form of stand-alone city convention centers or facilities tied to top hotel brands. BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA As of press time, Los Cabos International Convention Center was currently undergoing extensive renovations that should be finished before mid-year. This green building can host international meetings and conventions of up to 1,500 people and is equipped with solar panels and environmentally friendly technology. It also boasts one of the largest green walls on the planet, which insulates the premises and prevents the building from overheating during the warm summer months. The all-inclusive, all-suite, all ocean-view Grand Velas Los Cabos has over 16,370 ft² (1,520 m²) of space with two ballrooms that can host up to 1,500 guests, the flexibility for up to 20 breakout rooms and a dramatic oceanfront terrace with views of the Sea of Cortez for cocktail receptions of up to 600. The latest audio-visual equipment, technical support, secretarial and translation services and a fully-equipped business center complement their expert corporate planning team. The 373-suite luxury beachfront adults-only Le Blanc Los Cabos offers more than 14,000 sq. ft. of space for corporate and social events. Facilities include the 8,912 sq. ft. Blanc Sand Ballroom, which accommodates up to 630 people, with three additional rooms: Blanc Breeze (2,368sq. ft.) for up to 60 people, and the intimate Blanc Board (914 sq. ft.). The 128-room Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort, will open mid-2018 in Los Cabos with 20,000 ft² (1,858 m²) of meeting and event space with a capacity of 1,000 attendees, including a 3,500-ft² (325-m²) ballroom and an 11,000-ft² (1,021-m²) outdoor deck. Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, part of the Auberge Collection Resorts, also in Los Cabos, offers over 10,000 ft² of flexible indoor and outdoor event space, from an expansive, outdoor event lawn to contemporary indoor spaces, all just steps from the beach and with Sea of Cortez views. 11

7 NEW + NOTABLE NEW + NOTABLE The La Paz Convention Center has recently come under new management and will be undergoing upgrades to ensure it offers meeting planners the latest technology and services. The center is comprised of two buildings with 144,376 ft 2 (13,413 m 2 ) of exhibition and meetings space. accommodate up to 700 people each. Nearby, the luxurious 30-room Hotel Wayam by Xixim, which opened at the same time as the ICC, is the first hotel in Merida to be LEED certified. This is the first of a planned 15 hotels being built to meet the demand for meetings services. NORTH As of press time, the city of Monterrey in the state of Nuevo Leon was getting ready to welcome the brand new SHOWCENTER Complex, located in the San Pedro Garza Garcia suburb, the city s most important commercial and entertainment district. This world-class facility with cutting-edge technology was created as a multipurpose center, able to host everything from Broadway productions, music concerts, and social events to expos, conventions, and corporate events, including a gourmet catering services. The total surface area covers 8, m², with 6, m² for the Theater and 1, m² for the Convention Hall, with room for up to 6,000 attendees in different configurations. CENTRAL Inaugurated in early 2017, the Toluca Convention and Expo Center has an area of 33,282 ft² (3,092 m²) of expo space and 52,743 ft² (4,900 m²) of meeting space across three levels with six ballrooms, two terraces, a buffet area, a pressroom, a lounge and a convention hall. It can welcome events of up to 5,000 attendees, in this fifth-largest metropolitan area in Mexico. The Morelia Convention and Expo Center (Ceconexpo) was renovated and expanded to increase capacity from 220 to 499 stands and to welcome from 2,770 to 8,351 people. There s a second stage in the works, all with updated technology and sustainability built into the design. CARIBBEAN The Cancun International Convention Center is currently undergoing renovations on its façade and common areas, and expansions for restaurants and businesses that are expected to conclude in January Located in the heart of the hotel zone in Punta Cancun, the Cancun ICC has 78,533 ft² (7,296 m²) of exhibit and 75,541 ft² (7,018 m²) of meeting space. The CICC has hosted more than 6,000 world-class conventions and over 40 thousand attendees. The five-star, 900-all-view-suite Hotel Xcaret Mexico opened in the Riviera Maya with its new All-Fun Inclusive concept, that includes complimentary access to eight nature parks and tours. Their locations for meetings and events range from a Convention Center and a Mexican Hacienda to ballrooms and multifunctional spaces, private beaches and an event room located in their pyramid construction. The Hun Ka Ok conference room can be divided into 3 independent break-out rooms with a maximum capacity for 1,200 people in auditorium style, plus four additional break-outs to fit from 70 to 300 people. The adults-only UNICO Riviera Maya aims to create a curated all-inclusive experience with modern facilities and 448 upscale guest rooms (some with swimup pools) and a convention center with one main ballroom (11,603 ft² / 1,078 m²) divisible by three, 10 breakouts (4,220 ft² / 392 m²) and outdoor event spaces. PACIFIC COAST As part of its initiative to host the Tianguis Turistico Mexico 2018, the cuttingedge Mazatlan International Center in Nuevo Mazatlan, Sinaloa, inaugurated a new expo area of 160,000+ ft² (14,800 m²), with the most advanced technology in lighting, sound and web connectivity and a business center. The Center can host conventions and events of up to 8,000 attendees. The brand new Grand Vidanta Convention Center in Nuevo Vallarta has 32,378 ft² (3008 m²) of space including four main salons, as well as separate meeting rooms, accommodating over 2,400 guests across its flexible spaces. Each area comes equipped with high-speed Internet, streaming audio, and video capabilities. The Krystal Grand Nuevo Vallarta Convention Center opened this year in the Flamingos area of the Riviera Nayarit, with 15,069 ft 2 (1,400 m 2 ) of indoor meeting room space in its Gran Salon Flamingos, a flexible, multifunction space that can be configured to host up to 1,500 attendees. YUCATAN 12 The newly-opened Yucatan International Convention Center in Merida, Yucatan, is Samsung s first business alliance in Latin America and is also the only building in Mexico constructed with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED- Gold) certification. The ground level main hall is one of its larger spaces, with the capacity to seat 6,000 people. For smaller groups, the room can be divided into six singular rooms fitting 1,000 attendees each. More intimate events can take advantage of the hall s ability to be divided further into 12 rooms with the capacity to accommodate 500 people in each room. The upper level has two halls, offering event space for 2,000 attendees each and equipped with general services for any size event. The upper level also features two expansive outdoor terraces perfect for social gatherings, which can

8 DMC S ASITUR Region: Aguascalientes EVENTOS TIJUANA Region: Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, Tecate and Mexicali CUCAPAH DMC Region: The whole peninsula of Baja California, Northwest of Sonora DMC SOLUCIONES ESTRATEGICAS EN TURISMO DE NEGOCIO Region: Tijuana, Baja California, Metropolitan area, Rosarito, Tecate, Mexicali and Ensenada FUN BAJA CHOYA TOURS Region: Mexico City, Tampico, Cuernavaca, Queretaro, Guadalajara, Toluca and Sinaloa TERRAMAR Region: Los Cabos, Cancun and Riviera Maya TRANSCABO USA / CA Region: Los Cabos MIE EXPERTS Adam Lawhorne USA / Region: Los Cabos BAHIA TOURS OPERADORA Region: Campeche GRUPO EDZNA Region: All México DMC CHIAPAS Region: Chiapas and San Cristobal de las Casas PAKAL DMC & TOUR OPERADOR Region: Chiapas and San Cristobal de las Casas VIAJES CHIAPAS Region: Chiapas XANBALL DMC Region: Chiapas and Tabasco CHIAPAS INCENTIVE Region: Chiapas IDEA Y EVENTOS Region: Chihuahua INCENTITOURS LTD Region: Chihuahua, Sierra Tarahumara, U.S. and Mexico TLALOC TOURS MANZANILLO DMC Region: Manzanillo, Tecoman, Colima, Comala and Puerto Vallarta ABATUR Region: Mexico City ALTA MEX Region: Mexico City DESTINATION MÉXICO Mexico City, Cancún, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Mita, Los Cabos KOMEX TOURS ext.2 Region: México City, Acapulco, Cancun/Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Chetumal/Costa Maya, Merida/ Yucatan, Guadalajara, Pto. Vallarta, Los Cabos/Baja California and Monterrey LAHE al 85 Region: Mexico MARITUR Region: Mexico City, Acapulco, Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Mérida, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit and San Antonio STRATEGY & EVENTS MICE, S.A. DE C.V Region: Mexico DESTINATION SERVICES DE MEXICO Region: Mexico City BAJIO GO Region: Centro, Bajio, the Western region BICENTENARIO TODO TERRENO Region: Centro, Bajio and Occidente 14 15

9 DMC S HQM DMC Region: Centro, Bajio and Occidente ACUARIO TOURS Region: Acapulco CONSTELLATION SERVICES Region: Acapulco PGC GRUPO ACAPULCO Region: Acapulco AMSTAR DMC IXTAPA / 08 /ixtapa Region: Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Acapulco EXCELENCIA EN TURISMO Y CONVENCIONES ETC IXTAPA excelenciaenturismoy Region: Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Acapulco LIVING IXTAPA Region: Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Acapulco SUNNYSIDE DMC Region: Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo 16 ANDARES DE MEXICO Region: Guadalajara AVENTURATE POR JALISCO Region: Guadalajara PROCESA INCENTIVES Region: Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta and Mexico City IRS - INCENTIVE RELATED SERVICES Region: Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit TUKARI DMC Region: Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco DMC VTA VALLARTA - NAYARIT VALLARTA TRAVELER ADVISORS, S DE RL DE CV / 82 Region: Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco and Riviera Nayarit OLYMPUS TOURS S.A DE C.V Region: Mexico NORTH AMERICAN TRAVEL S.A DE C.V Region: Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit and Guadalajara DMC MONTERREY SA DE CV Region: Monterrey and México OPERADORA TURÍSTICA BAHÍAS PLUS DMC Region: Bahías de Huatulco XPERT & PROFESSIONAL TRAVEL DMC Region: Bahías de Huatulco PARAISO HUATULCO USA Region: Bahías de Huatulco SAM DMC OPERADORA TURISTICA CALLE Region: Puebla, Mexico City, Oaxaca and Veracruz TIP TOUR OPERATOR & DMC Region: Puebla, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Querétaro, Morelos and State of Mexico PROMOTUR JOSE NIEMBRO Region: Querétaro GLOBAL MEXICO FRESCO Region: Querétaro BD TRAVEL & DMC Region: Cancún, Riviera Maya CTA CANCUN & RIVIERA MAYA DMC Region: Cancún, Riviera Maya EPIC DMC MEXICO ext Region: Cancun, Riviera Maya, Yucatan, Mexico City, Colonial Heartland, Puerto Vallarta & área, Los Cabos and Baja Sur GLOBAL INCENTIVE MANAGEMENT GIM, DMC / 01 USA Region: Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos IMC TRAVEL & DMC Region: Cancun, Riviera Maya and Mexico City ESTINATION MANAGEMENT COMPANIES (DMC) ARE THE local experts: they know the destination like no other, from local holidays and how the traffic works to who the best suppliers are, how to get VIP treatment, organize transfers, site selection and inspection, and more. A good DMC can deal with emergencies, interact with the hotels, be in charge of décor, entertainment, themed events, outdoor functions and personalized amenities-not to mention giving planners and their clients access to once-in-a-lifetime experiences that generally aren t available to the public. Here in Mexico you ll find professional DMC companies that will create tailor-made programs that follow your objectives and goals, ensuring every step of the way is executed properly and on time. The majority have stand-alone offices-in fact, many companies have representation in several of Mexico s key business events destinations-, they own their own fleet of insured vehicles, have their services covered with a robust insurance policy, have a decade or more of experience, offer highly trained staff to take care of every detail of group logistics, and boast a list of important clients with highly recognizable names. Many also have memberships in industry organizations, which gives them an understanding of the differences between leisure and business tourism and can recognize the importance of the corporate culture. The benchmark for Mexican DMCs for the international business events industry is the Mexican Association of Destination Management Companies (AMDEMAC). It offers training, workshops, seminars and more to help consolidate and improve the members competitive edge in the international market and includes some of the best suppliers in the country. The top companies even attend international industry shows: you will often find them as part of the Mexico Pavilion at IMEX America, IMEX Frankfurt, IBTM World, and other key events. Mexico has endless options and you ll find originality is a key element of the best proposals. Our DMCs have the ability to custom-design programs that showcase our spectacular scenery, they know what s on trend, and can suggest the best ways you can give back to the community to address corporate social responsibility. Think exploring a Mayan community during a team-building event, taking in the Teotihuacan pyramids from above in a hot-air balloon, or experiencing a private cooking lesson from one of our top chefs. The right DMC can make the difference between a good event and a memorable one. Please refer to pages 14, 16, 18 for a list of some of the top names in the industry across the country s main destinations. 17

10 DMC S INTERNATIONAL INCENTIVE TRAVEL DMC Region: Cancun, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Mexico City IVI DMC² Region: Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico City, Central Mexico, Cancun, Riviera Maya MARITUR DMC Region: Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Acapulco and Mexico City MS DMC Region: Cancun, Riviera Maya and Puebla TROPICAL INCENTIVES DMC Regions: Cancun, Riviera Maya and Los Cabos L2 MEETINGS Region: Sinaloa CREATUR DMC Region: Chiapas and Tabasco AMIGO YUCATÁN DMC Region: Merida, Cancun, Riviera Maya, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Guanajuato, León and Campeche KGROUP WELLBEING MEETINGS Region: Yucatan MAELCA DESTINATION MANAGEMENT COMPANY Region: Yucatan MAYAN HERITAGE DMC Region: Yucatan MAYAN INCENTIVES MÉRIDA DMC Region: Mérida, Cancún, Riviera Maya and Campeche TURITRANSMÉRIDA TOUR OPERATOR AND DMC Region: Mérida CONTROL TOUR S.A DE C.V Region: Merida, Campeche, Cancún, Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Palenque, San Cristóbal, Villahermosa, Oaxaca, Huatulco and Puerto Escondido 18


12 CONTACT US IN THE US Virginia Arana Meetings Industry Director th St NW, 4th Floor Washington DC IN MEXICO Mexico Tourism Board Meetings Industry Liaison Office Av. Viaducto Miguel Alemán #105, 1st Floor, Col. Escandon Mexico City, CDMX CONNECT ON THE WEB N 2017, THE MEXICO TOURISM BOARD (MTB) RE-LAUNCHED a dedicated Meetings and Events plan to continue strengthening its position as a top destination for hosting international business events, comprised of five key elements: The NATIONAL AMBASSADORS PROGRAM, consisting of over 100 scientific, professional, and trade leaders from Mexico with global influence in order to secure important events related to each ambassadors respective industries. The MTB accompanies them in their efforts to win international congresses to bring to Mexico. These events not only bring attendees and their dollars but also create a space of connections, business opportunities, and knowledge exchange that is highly valued by the Mexican Government. The ECONOMIC CLUSTER INITIATIVE program that seeks to diversity demand across different destinations around the country based not only on their attractions or capacities, but also in their industry development across different sectors. Experienced planners who have been to Mexico many times are eager to explore new and upcoming destinations that are not the typical resort experience, so the MTB is working on creating non-traditional events to encourage a strong collaboration between tourism and economic entities and anchor business events with the destination s local industry and economic vocation. count on the expert advice of a group of international professionals that help us better understand the market, fine tune our efforts, and find new business opportunities. The INDUSTRY BIDDING COMMITTEE (IBC), in charge of developing guidelines for the collective efforts when competing to attract world congresses and International events to Mexico. The MTB also works together as an industry including the destinations, venues, PCOs and government entities to strategize and work together to bring more international congresses to Mexico (this not for exclusively for corporate events, sport events, or any others). PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS to ensure local companies are adequately prepared to meet the needs of international events and travel groups. Because the ground-level experience is crucial for repeat visitors, the MTB is aggressively investing in skills training for locals throughout the country. Certifications include Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Certified Exhibition Manager (CEM) for tradeshow professionals, Certified Incentive Specialist (CIS) for travel suppliers and Certified Association Sales Executive (CASE) or Convention Service Manager (CSM) for corporate market professionals. A great source of information can be found 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the click of a mouse at a one-stop shop where you can access a wealth of information to help you make crucial decisions about Mexico s meeting destinations. This single source of information includes all of the information contained in The Meetings Guide to Mexico, as well as recent updates and downloads of directories, venues, listings and more. The CLIENT ADVISORY BOARD created in conjunction with the Professional The MTB has 22 offices in key cities across 14 countries in Europe, the United Convention Management Association (PCMA) a group of leaders from States, and Latin America, and has put together a specialized team to work with different sectors in the global meetings industry to obtain expert feedback planners regardless of where they are located. The team is staffed with meeting on strategic advances in the industry, including the identification of leading professionals ready to help planners make an informed decision for their events, 22 destinations best practices and global industry trends. Thus, Mexico can now serving as their liaison with Mexico s suppliers and all of its destinations. 23



15 EXICO IS A PREMIER AND STRATEGIC DESTINATION FOR businesses around the world to convene, and there s no doubt its significant increase in aviation traffic over the past two years has helped fuel the country s booming business events industry. In 2017 alone, Mexico added over 2.6 million seats in direct and international flights from over 20 countries, representing a growth rate of 10.2% compared to all of 2016 close to triple the one million new seats for the year the Mexico Tourism Board announced in January of This dramatic increase was facilitated by the introduction of dozens of new flights and/or increased frequency from both new and existing gateways in the United States and around the world, many operated on upgraded aircraft, adding to the capacity and improving the overall traveler experience. Mexico was, in fact, the top destination for capacity increases, accounting for approximately 37 percent of new routes on domestic and international carriers. In response to this growth, key airports around the nation have received tens of millions of dollars worth of private investment to upgrade and expand their infrastructure in order to better serve travelers. Top projects included the airports in Cancun, Acapulco, Guadalajara, Los Cabos, and Merida, which, among other things, upped their capacities, expanded and/or modernized existing terminals and/or added new ones, and improved their passenger services, ticketing, baggage claim and handling systems, inspection points, flight information systems, and more. And, in the case of Mexico City, there s an entirely new airport being built at a cost of $9 billion, expected to open in 2021 just northeast of the city about three miles away from the current facility. The first phase includes one X-shaped terminal capable of handling 68 million passengers with 96 gate bridges and 68 remote bridges, three runways capable of triple-simultaneous landing and takeoff and one control tower. The extraordinary level of connectivity and upgraded facilities translates into lower travel costs, less time spent in transit, and an overall improvement of the travel experience for meeting and events planners and their clients and represents one more competitive advantage for Mexico in the global business events industry. Welcome to Mexico the Gateway to Latin America. YOUR SUCCESS, OUR COMMITMENT 28 Tel. (322)

16 NORTH CENTRAL CHIHUAHUA AGUASCALIENTES Chihuahua Ciudad Juarez COAHUILA Torreon DURANGO Durango NUEVO LEON Monterrey SONORA Hermosillo Aguascalientes ESTADO DE MEXICO Toluca GUANAJUATO Guanajuato Irapuato Leon San Miguel de Allende HIDALGO Pachuca JALISCO GULF TABASCO BAJA CALIFORNIA BAJA CALIFORNIA Tijuana Ensenada BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR Los Cabos La Paz PACIFIC COAST Guadalajara MEXICO CITY MICHOACAN Morelia MORELOS Cuernavaca PUEBLA Puebla QUERETARO Queretaro SAN LUIS POTOSI San Luis Potosi ZACATECAS Zacatecas Villahermosa TAMAULIPAS Tampico VERACRUZ Veracruz-Boca del Rio YUCATAN CAMPECHE Campeche YUCATAN Merida MEXICAN CARIBBEAN QUINTANA ROO Cancun Riviera Maya Cozumel Island Isla Mujeres SINALOA Mazatlan NAYARIT Riviera Nayarit JALISCO Puerto Vallarta SUR COLIMA Manzanillo GUERRERO Acapulco Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo OAXACA Oaxaca Huatulco Puerto Escondido CHIAPAS Tuxtla Gutierrez San Cristobal de las Casas


18 BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA PENINSULA PARTNERS STATES OF BAJA CALIFORNIA AND BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR. The Baja California Peninsula is made up of two Mexican states: Baja California, home to the bustling border city of Tijuana and Mexico s Wine Country in Ensenada; and Baja California Sur, home to eco-friendly La Paz and luxury resort Los Cabos. The economy of Baja California is very diversified and connected to that of the US thanks to its geographical location, with industrial and agro-industrial products, medical tourism, tourism, and aerospace manufacturing leading the way; the automotive industry has also made gains. The most dynamic aspect of Baja California Sur s economy is tourism, followed by fishing and fish farming, alternative energy production, mineral and salt extraction, film production, information and communication technologies, and biotechnology. STATE OF BAJA CALIFORNIA Tijuana Ensenada STATE OF BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR La Paz Los Cabos STATE OF BAJA CALIFORNIA 3Tijuana Tijuana is a cosmopolitan industrial center well known in the meetings industry and medical tourism circles for its modern venues, four- and five-star hotels, and hospitals. Its privileged location just half an hour by car from San Diego and 2.5 hours from Los Angeles have contributed to its success. This proximity has created strong cultural ties with the US, it has, in fact, somewhat of a separate economy from the rest of Mexico, one much more similar to California s. Its unemployment rate is a token 1% not even countries like Japan have this number. The dynamics of this economy are proof positive that it s a safe destination. The unique Cross Border Xpress (CBX) an enclosed pedestrian skywalk bridge that connects the US directly into the Tijuana Airport Terminal (ticketed passengers only) is an added plus, opening a door to lessexpensive air connections within the country. In recent years the city has grown into a booming manufacturing, tourism, and commerce center, attracting industry and elevated the local quality of life. Main economic sectors include automotive, electronics, and aerospace (Tijuana has the largest concentration of aerospace companies in Mexico), with medical tourism as another important driver. With the growth of the local aerospace industry comes an increased demand for specialized talent, which is being amply addressed by the city s four universities. In 2017, Tijuana was 8 th on the New York Times list of top places to visit, thanks to its culinary renaissance, citing its craft brew pubs, chic coffee houses, hipster food trucks, and trendy Baja Med restaurants, as well as its proliferation of luxury high-rise condos and a new, $60-million transit system. 35

19 36 BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA TIJUANA Baja California Center Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) Urban Culinary 1,412 Francisco Villegas Peralta / President Laura Maldonado / Congress and Conventions Manager TIJUANA City Express Tijuana Otay (2017) Extended Suites (2017) Hampton Inn by Hilton Tijuana (TBD) K Tower (TBD) Hotel Sleep Inn Tijuana (2018) CLIMATE. The weather is usually on the mild side, ranging from Mediterranean to arid, with an average temperature of 68ºF (20ºC). Most precipitation falls in the winter between the months of November and March, with the coolest and wettest month being January (56.5ºF/13.6ºC). There is no hurricane season in Tijuana, and frost and snow are rare. HOW TO GET HERE. The Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) is one of the busiest in Mexico and is considered the second main airport for the San Diego area for passengers heading south into Mexico and Latin America who use the Cross Border Xpress pedestrian bridge. This bridge connects passengers in a terminal in Otay Mesa in Southern San Diego County directly to the Tijuana International Airport Terminal via a fiveminute walk, giving them access to TIJ s more than 120 daily flights within Mexico. WHERE TO STAY. Planners will find in Tijuana several 4- and 5-star domestic and international hotels catering to business travelers, all with on-site meetings and events space. Many are clustered in the Zona Rio hotel zone, the financial district near some of Tijuana s top attractions, including the Tijuana Cultural Center, Plaza Rio, Plaza Fiesta, and some of the top gourmet restaurants. WHERE TO MEET. Baja California Metropolitan Center: This venue serves Rosarito, Tijuana and Tecate. It s located 56 miles (90 km) from the city center, with over 119,479 ft² (11,100 m²) of exhibition, convention and meeting space, and a main room that can serve up to 1,600 people in a theater setting. Alternative venues include the Grand Hotel Tijuana, with over 11 meeting rooms that can welcome anywhere from 10 to 500 attendees; Tijuana Cultural Center, with an esplanade that can accommodate up to 6,000 people; the VIA Corporativo building in the heart of the Zona Rio with event rooms for groups of 20 up to 400; the World Trade Center, with exhibit, conference and meeting facilities; plus the El Foro Palacio Jai Alai and the Tijuana Country Club and golf course, both with historic facilities that lend a special charm to any event. WHAT TO DO. Tijuana has become a mecca of hip over the past few years, with microbreweries churning out craft beer, aromatic coffee shops brewing Mexico s best and the Baja-Med culinary scene that s revolutionizing foodie travel, a tasty fusion of Mexican, European and Asian kitchens, meaning dine-arounds for groups will need to be high on the list of activities. There are several musts for group city tours, including the Tijuana Cultural Center, the most important cultural center in northeast Mexico; Calle 6, or La sexta, for cool cantinas and clubs; and the Pasaje Rodriguez, a vibrant arts district with galleries, studios, cafés and bookstores. Most of the local action is at the Zona Rio, the city s upscale business district, home to the best restaurants, nightlife, hotels and shopping. Outside the city limits, consider adding a postevent visit to the Magical Town of Tecate for a day of eco-adventures on mountain bike, on foot, or by vehicle all the way out to the El Vallecito area, where clients can discover cave paintings, one of which lights up with the summer solstice sun. And because it s the gateway to the corridor that extends down the coast of Baja California and the Wine Route, holding an event in Tijuana opens a wide variety of choice for pre- and post-event tours and/or incentive programs that add in a very popular option: the beach. On the Pacific, Rosarito Beach s boardwalk overlooks water waiting for surfers, divers or beachcombers to drop by. They can follow that up with a famous lobster done up Puerto Nuevo style (or, if they prefer, in tacos) and dance till the sun comes up in any of its fun nightclubs and bars. On the other side of the peninsula, San Felipe hugs the shore in front of the Sea of Cortez, a full-on destination for eco-tourism water sports of every kind from the most sedate to the most exciting, adding a truly unforgettable element to any incentive program. 3Ensenada The third largest municipality in the state and in the country, Ensenada is a mere 78 miles (125 km) south of San Diego and perched on the shores of Todos los Santos Bay, the only deep-water port in Baja and the second most important port on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. This gracious seaside city has emerged as a cruise ship destination, a jumping-off point for the vineyards of Baja California s Wine Country, and an aerospace hub. Famous for its high-end resorts and the breathtaking landscape that tumbles down from the craggy desert into the deep blue ocean, Los Cabos is also the ideal destination for the business events industry, having hosted numerous international congresses and events over the years. The shining star of the Los Cabos meetings and events offer is the newly refurbished Los Cabos International Convention Center, a state-of-the-art green building defines the state of Baja California Sur as one of the most attractive business tourism destinations across the globe. Major hotel chains have specialized facilities and personnel that can handle corporate retreats and full-scale conventions, while the smaller, exclusive resorts offer luxurious and extravagant premises with customized service for those seeking to exceed expectations. Similarly, local certified DMCs and audio-visual companies offer complete event planning services. A recent surge of construction has added nearly 5,000 new rooms in luxury resorts, as well as new restaurants and unique venues. This prime resort destination is also a major high-end sports hub, with golf courses designed by the world s best golf designers and players-including Tom Fazio, Robert Trent Jones, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods-, and the Los Cabos International Airport (SJD). One of the top 25 airports in the world, it welcomes over 500 direct daily flights from major gateways in the US, Mexico, and Canada. We offer the complete package: unique and personalized meeting services with a state-of-the-art convention center, authentic experiences, over 50 hotels for groups and events with more than 16,000 rooms total, one-of-a-kind luxury, and multiple cutting-edge meeting facilities plus that unique, awe-inspiring scenery. The question is: how soon can you be here?

20 38 BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 39 Ensenada is developing scientific research and natural science sectors, with a special focus on marine sciences, and is home to the largest cluster of bio-medical device companies in Mexico, which is drawing a growing number of biotech researchers. Its proximity to San Diego s biotech cluster less than 90 miles (145 km) away has fueled an excellent interaction between the two. Tourism is another economic driver. Its proximity to California makes it a prime destination for cruise trips from Los Angeles or Long Beach (onboard casinos can open up when ships enter into international waters, adding to their popularity), and its swath of Pacific Ocean have made it a Mecca for international surfing and sailing competitions, not to mention a prime spot for whale watching. ENSENADA Coral & Marina Hotel San Nicolas Hotel and Casino Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) Beach Eco-Tourism Culinary 1,800 Óscar A. Kawanishi / CEO ENSENADA Holiday Inn Ensenada (2019) CLIMATE. Warm, dry and semi-arid, temperatures average around 55º to 70ºF (13º - 21ºC), with warmer temperatures along the coast. Ensenada is not affected by hurricane season, and rainfall is scarce during the colder months from November to February (average temps 55ºF / 13º C). The warmer months are driest: June to September (average temps 70ºF / 21ºC). Though a warm coastal location, the climate is affected by the offshore cold California Current, keeping summers mild. Snowfall is rare, with small amounts last falling in January 2007 in the hills south of the city. HOW TO GET HERE. The closest commercial airport is the Tijuana International Airport (TIJ), which is only served by domestic airlines. However, planners can connect via Mexico City (MEX) from multiple gateways across the US into Tijuana and drive the 70 miles (112 km) to Ensenada. WHERE TO STAY. Planners can choose from a number of independent hotels in the downtown area or by the shore, including lodgings at the first-class marina; some offer business and meetings facilities on-site for small- to mid-size groups. Only 27 miles (43 km) from Ensenada, however, lies Baja California s Wine Country, home to several extraordinary boutique properties nestled in the vineyards and with a reputation for exquisite gastronomy perfect for boardroom meetings and incentives. WHERE TO MEET. Ensenada does not have a convention center per se, thought the five-star Coral & Marina offers flexible meetings space for up to 500 attendees and outdoor space for events of up to 350, and the San Nicolas Hotel & Casino in the downtown area offers a convention room for up to 500 people. Alternative venues include the Bajamar Ocean Front Golf Course for meetings with a view, or in the nearby valley, where meetings, cocktails, and opening and closing ceremonies can be held in the heart of wine country. La Villa del Valle estate, for example, can welcome up to 100 people; the award-winning Monte Xanic winery has upgraded facilities and two private tasting rooms; and the sizeable L.A. Cetto winery, the oldest and most respected in Mexico, frequently hosts tastings and special events that range from massive concerts to high profile speakers. WHAT TO DO. As the Wine Capital of Mexico (it produces 90% of the country s wine), planners will find Ensenada has plenty to offer clients for before, during, and after their events along the famed Wine Route, from hosted wine tastings, vineyard hopping on horseback, and amazing culinary experiences to wine festivals, hot air balloon rides and more there s even a Museum of Vine and Wine. With over 25,000 acres of vineyards and more than 100 wineries in its valleys, there are local DMCs that can organize post-event visits to several vineyards for a few hours or a few days of sophisticated wine tastings served with regional artisanal and organic products. Along with Tijuana, it has become a culinary mecca where famous chefs from all over the world celebrate their ingredients, restaurants, and local chefs. On a curious side note: Ensenada also has the most per-capita scientists in the world, which makes it a very interesting community. There is, however, more to do than just wining and dining: after the work is done there are plenty of ways to let off some steam, including golf, surfing at San Miguel Beach, windsurfing, tennis, deep-sea fishing, and the very unforgettable wonder of seasonal gray whale watching. Consider adding a tour to La Bufadora s marine geyser or the raw adventure of a visit to Isla Guadalupe for white shark and elephant seal sightings as an awesome addition to any program. The port is also famous for its sailing events, including the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, billed as the world s largest international sailing event. STATE OF BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR 3La Paz The capital of Baja California Sur, the city of La Paz is the gateway to the Aquarium of the World and the perfect destination for planners seeking an authentic Mexican town and amazing encounters with nature to enhance their event or incentive program. This, however, is not a beach resort in the traditional sense, but rather a busy provincial town on a tranquil bay surrounded by barren desert. Industries include silver mining, agriculture, fishing and pearls, with tourism (mainly eco-tourism) as an important source of employment in the area. CLIMATE. The climate in La Paz is usually dry, warm and sunny year-round, with an average temperature between 73º and 77ºF (23º and 25ºC). The weather is relatively consistent with generally little rainfall; the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season begins May 15th and runs through November 30 th. HOW TO GET HERE. The La Paz International Airport (LAP) is served by several domestic airlines, with easy connections to the most important cities in Mexico: Mexico City (MEX), Guadalajara (GDL), and Monterrey (MTY). Together these airports receive nonstop flights from major gateways across the US including Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas-Ft Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (California), Seattle, and Washington. WHERE TO STAY. Hotels in this paradise of cactus and date palms tend towards the small and independently owned, including some very LA PAZ La Paz Convention Center La Paz International Airport (LAP) Beach Eco-Tourism 1,200 Sandra Paola Gutiérrez Rubio Félix / CEO Rosario Irigoyen / Marketing General Manager LA PAZ La Paz Convention Center (renovation) (TBD) Peninsula de los Sueños complex (TBD) Tres Santos complex (Todos Santos) (TBD)

21 40 BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA DMC EXPERTS LOS CABOS Los Cabos International Convention Center Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) Beach Luxury Gastronomy Eco-Tourism 16,000 Rodrigo Esponda / CEO Moctezuma Loza / Meetings Manager LOS CABOS Grand Velas Los Cabos (2017) Chileno Bay Resort & Residences (2017) Krystal Grand Los Cabos (2017) Grand Solmar Rancho San Lucas (2017) Live Aqua (2017) The Westin Los Cabos Resort Villas & Spa (renovation) (2017) Paradisus Los Cabos (2017) Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos (2018) Los Cabos International Convention Center (renovation) (2018) Viceroy Los Cabos (2018) Nobu Hotel (2018) Zadun, a Ritz Carlton Reserve (2018) Montage Los Cabos (2018) Solaz Los Cabos (2018) Four Season Los Cabos at Costa Palmas (2018) Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos (2018) Le Blanc Los Cabos (2018) Hard Rock Los Cabos (2019) Los Cabos International Airport (expansion) (2019) Vidanta East Cape (2019) Villa La Valencia (2019) Cachet Deluxe Corazon (2019) St. Regis Los Cabos Hotel & Residences at Quivira (2020) Park Hyatt Los Cabos (2020) nice boutique properties, though planners can definitely find a handful of mid-size properties that also have on-site flexible meeting space with business facilities and high-tech services. The biggest treat for attendees will be the location, as some of the top hotels have amazing views and are built to take full advantage of them. WHERE TO MEET. La Paz Convention Center: This venue has recently come under new management and will be undergoing upgrades to ensure it offers meeting planners the latest technology and services. The center is comprised of two buildings with 144,376 ft2 (13,413 m2) of exhibition and meetings space. WHAT TO DO. La Paz is all about offering event attendees and groups adventure travel and memorable experiences, including whale watching, swimming with whale sharks and sea lions, and world-class snorkeling and diving at Isla Espiritu Santo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home of over 400 sea lions, hammerhead sharks and mobula rays. There are a number of local DMCs that can help planners organize and execute memorable pre- and post-event activities. Beach time can be a very welcome addition to any program: some of the best beaches are just 10 miles north of town near the Port of Pichilingue, which receives cruise ships and also connects to Mazatlan (Sinaloa) via ferry. Playa Balandra, dubbed the most beautiful beach in Mexico in 2016, is a great choice to spend the day for its beautiful enclosed cove with shallow, light blue water. Of course, golf is always a hit with groups, and they can tee off at the CostaBaja Golf Club, Mexico s first Gary Player 18-hole golf course on the Sea of Cortez. About an hour out of town, a visit to the Magical Town of Todos Santos can be a very popular pre- or post-event addition, where groups can spend a morning or an afternoon browsing the chic little shops, galleries and restaurants. This old Baja-now-boho mission settlement is also very accessible from the Los Cabos airport thanks to an inland highway bypass. Another add-on suggestion for after a successful event in La Paz is a two- or three-day stay in the Magical Town of Loreto, a 45-minute flight via domestic airline north of La Paz. This seaside retreat is one of Mexico s best-kept secrets: a town with a rich history surrounded by a perfect mix of desert, mountains, and a protected marine park in the Sea of Cortez. In fact, clients would pretty much just need to grab a kayak and paddle out to the magnificent Bay of Loreto National Marine Park a UNESCO World Heritage Site of roughly 800 square miles (2,000 m 2 ) to see dolphins and some of the over 800 species of marine life that call the bay home. The town itself is easily navigated on foot and has several excellent traditional Mexican restaurants and a handful of larger fivestar resorts and small boutique hotels. 3Los Cabos For the last two decades, the economy of Los Cabos-San Jose del Cabo, the 20-mile long (32 km) Corridor, and Cabo San Lucas has been anchored in tourism and related activities: sun and sand, sport-fishing, golf, gastronomy, and eco-tourism. Small wonder, given its jaw-dropping natural beauty, stunning sunsets, and top-notch infrastructure. Today, this luxury destination is experiencing a major development boom that includes luxury resorts with state-of-the-art meeting spaces, restaurants, unique meeting venues, and residential properties, making it a luxury destination perfect for incentive and corporate meetings. CLIMATE. Highs in warm season average above 91ºF (33ºC) with occasional rains August through October. The winter season has an average daily high temperature below 82º (28ºC) with cool nights. During the summer, the monthly rainfall averages out to two days, totalling one inch (21 mm) a month; the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season begins May 15th and runs through November 30 th. HOW TO GET HERE. Recognized as one of the top 25 airports in the world, the Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) welcomes some 500 weekly connections serving more than 40 destinations, with new direct flights added fairly often. Currently there are direct flights from Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Newark, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (California), Santa Ana, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. The airport is currently in the midst of a multi-year, $48 million refurbishment and expansion that will add five new gates and a new VIP lounge, expected to be completed in WHERE TO STAY. Los Cabos currently has a collection of over 73 hotels and resorts for planners to choose from, and over a threeyear period the destination will see nearly 5,000 new and revamped hotel rooms added to its inventory. Accommodations range from exquisite boutique properties to Gran Turismo resorts the Mexican equivalent of better than 5-star offering either All-Inclusive or European Plan programs, with every amenity you can possibly think of, including workspaces and high-speed WiFi. It s hard to find a room with no view, as hoteliers have made it their business to make the most of the spectacular natural scenery. Most of the properties have also homed in on the importance of the meetings industry, either building separate convention spaces or ensuring their event rooms meet the most stringent standards, as well as offering professional business services, cutting-edge technology, gourmet catering, and dedicated staff to ensure the success of your event. WHERE TO MEET. Los Cabos International Convention Center: With its solar panels and environmentally friendly technology, this venue was designed as a green facility and boasts one of the largest green walls in the world, which serves as an insulator and prevents the building from overheating in the warm summer months. The 72,110- ft2 (6,700-m 2 ) ICC offers 67,759 ft 2 (6,295 m 2 ) of total meeting space with a maximum capacity of 8,000 attendees. It offers an exclusive reception and buffet area, banquet facilities, catering menu, gourmet box lunches, and mobile bars, not to mention complete event production services, technical support, audio/visual equipment, an office, a business center, security services, concierge services, and high-speed WiFi. There is a slew of alternative venues within local resort properties, ranging from stand-alone state-of-the-art convention centers next door to the resort to well-equipped spaces within the hotels themselves, all with professional services and personalized meeting packages to meet and exceed the most exacting standards. WHAT TO DO. Los Cabos dramatic, craggy vistas, golden beaches, and deep blue water are the perfect backdrop for any number of preand post-event activities, not to mention beachfront team-building exercises (think raft regatta on the Sea of Cortez), experiential learning programs, corporate and incentive team events, plus unforgettable themed events in over-the-top venues such as an evening at the Old Lighthouse in Cabo San Lucas, with its grassy esplanade that can be transformed into a gala dinner party for a closing ceremony. Of the three components that make up Los Cabos, San Jose del Cabo is the oldest, and it has kept its traditional look and feel (recently updated with new sidewalks and lighting). After-meeting browsing and gallery hopping (groups especially like the Thursday-night Art Walks), are a treat for attendees, but the new El Merkado takes all that a few steps beyond. This is a modern, trendy food hall serving up a one-building-dine-around for groups looking to try new things without having to venture too far off. The center plaza of the building is also an excellent venue for group dinners and events, catered to, of course, by the building s own eateries. Speaking of food, one of the Los Cabos key assets is the gastronomy, whether in the amazing restaurants tucked away in upscale all-inclusive properties (the destination s first Michelin Star chef-lead restaurant is at the Grand Velas Cocina de Autor) or smaller, local food shops or gourmet catering during events, planners can be assured their guests palates will be taken care of. The farm-to-table option is big in Cabo, and local organic farms/restaurants such as Huerta Los Tamarindos, Acre and Flora Farms, offering groups a chance to roll up their sleeves, pick produce, and learn to prepare Baja-inspired meals that same Meeting Incentive Experts, an experienced Mexico Destination Expert with Mexico offices in Los Cabos, Cancun/Riviera Maya and Puerto Vallarta. USA headquarters in Chicago. MIEXPERTS.COM USA (312)

22 42 BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA HOTELS This list includes some of the top properties suitable for the MICE market; for a more comprehensive list of destination hotels please visit THOMPSON HOTEL 161 rms. / 5,180 sf. / 120 ppl 42 morning. It s all part of the overall wellness trend that comes hand-in-hand with the luxury and exclusivity of the destination (think spas, hydrotherapy circuits, and even wellness suites), a big plus for event attendees. And while it s tempting to keep a group in the confines of an upscale hotel with convention center, Michelin-star worthy restaurants, and infinity pool facing the beach, there s too much to do beyond the resort. This is where the many local DMCs and/or the onsite meeting staff step in and step up, finding any number of activities that will lend tremendous value to any program. A favorite for groups is cruising aboard the 144 catamaran, Caborey, specially outfitted for dinners, shows and parties for up to 600 guests as it sails past the stunning coastline and the Land s End Arches; they also host whale watching tours and snorkeling tours, or groups can commandeer the Buccaneer Queen, a pirate ship that offers much of the same. Both depart from the marina at Cabo San Lucas and gives groups a chance to check out the famous marina area, home to Playa Medano, one of the only swimmable beaches in the area and practically the heart of town, as well as the first-class yachts, sport fishing boats and mega-yachts docked there, which can also be chartered for a friendly fishing tournament. Of note is the fact numerous international tournaments are held here each year, including the Bisbee Black & Blue Marlin Tournament. Speaking of competition, there s plenty of that out on the many world-class golf courses (designed by Tom Fazio, Robert Trent Jones, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods, to name a few) that sprawl along the Corridor in between the five-star beach hotels, along with beautiful clubhouses that can serve as venues for cocktail parties and even themed dinners. It has, in fact, been named as the 2017 Latin America & Caribbean Golf Destination of the Year by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO). Los Cabos marvelous natural surroundings offer thrill-seeking eco-additions to incentive programs, for example, a camel ride along the beach, a zip-line expedition through the Boca de la Sierra area, or a dive into the wildlife-rich Sea of Cortez. Planners might want to keep in mind the Pacific is the breeding ground for California Grey whales from December through March, and the whale sharks swim offshore from October through February watching the cetaceans o swimming with the gentle giants (these sharks literally have no teeth) are program activities that will not be soon forgotten. And each year from August to early December, an abundance of sea turtles come to its these shores to lay their eggs- DMCs can arrange for groups to participate in turtle release programs in season. Though technically in the municipality of La Paz, the Magical Town of Todos Santos (and sister city to San Jose del Cabo) is only about an hour away from the airport thanks to an inland highway bypass, and a great day trip for event attendees who need a little R&R. The culinary scene is bright and vivid here, too, with farm-to-table hotspots like Hierbabuena and Jazamango. ENSENADA HOTEL CORAL & MARINA 147 rms. / 400 ppl ROSARITO LAS OLAS RESORT & SPA 194 rms. / 7,000 sf LAS ROCAS RESORT & SPA 72 rms. 14,420 sf. / 250 ppl PUERTO NUEVO BAJA HOTEL Y VILLAS 191 rms. / 1,358 sf. / 600 ppl TIJUANA GRAND HOTEL TIJUANA 422 rms. / 340 ppl HYATT PLACE TIJUANA 145 rms. / 150 ppl MARRIOTT TIJUANA 209 rms. 1,519 sf. / 700 ppl REAL INN TIJUANA 264 rms. / 2,952 sf. / 1,200 ppl MEXICALI LUCERNA 173 rms. / 200 ppl LA PAZ ARAIZA PALMIRA 119 rms. / 3,197 sf. / 500 ppl COSTABAJA RESORT & SPA 115 rms. / 2,380 sf. / 120 ppl HOTEL PERLA 109 rms. / 4,000 sf. / 250 ppl LA POSADA HOTEL & BEACH CLUB 20 rms. / 2,152 sf. / 430 ppl HYATT PLACE LA PAZ 20 rms. / 2,152 sf. / 430 ppl LOS CABOS BARCELÓ GRAND FARO LOS CABOS 350 rms. / 28,201 sf. / 1,100 ppl MARQUIS LOS CABOS 235 rms. / 30,000 sf. / 600 ppl JW MARRIOT LOS CABOS 235 rms. / 30,000 sf. / 600 ppl ME CABO 156 rms. / 2,500 ppl SECRETS PUERTO LOS CABOS GOLF & SPA RESORT 500 rms. / 19,105 sf. / 350 ppl SHERATON HACIENDA DEL MAR 270 rms. / 12,419 sf. / 1,200 ppl RIU PALACE CABO SAN LUCAS 642 stes. / 8,500 sf. / 700 ppl PLAYA GRANDE RESORT & GRAND SPA 259 stes. / 12,801 sf. / 300 ppl WESTIN RESORT & SPA LOS CABOS 147 villas / 2 stes. 11,900 sf. / 1,000 ppl THE RESORT AT PEDREGAL 113 rms. / 18,567 sf. / 100 ppl KRYSTAL GRAND LOS CABOS 454 rms. / 11,000 sf PARADISUS LOS CABOS 350 rms. / 13,500 sf LE BLANC SPA RESORT LOS CABOS 373 rms. / 13,284 sf. GRAND VELAS LOS CABOS 304 stes. / 15,640 sf LORETO LA MISIÓN LORETO 67 rms. / 20 ppl 43

23 NORTH POWERHOUSE MEETINGS STATES OF CHIHUAHUA, DURANGO, SONORA AND NUEVO LEON. Over the past three decades, these dynamic cities have grown and consolidated their status as powerhouses of the north. Key industries in these northern reaches include a strong automotive component, tech, and agroindustry, with Chihuahua, Monterrey, and Sonora boasting some of the top aerospace clusters in the country. STATE OF CHIHUAHUA Chihuahua Ciudad Juarez STATE OF DURANGO Durango STATE OF SONORA Hermosillo STATE OF NUEVO LEON Monterrey STATE OF CHIHUAHUA 3Chihuahua Bordering Texas and New Mexico, Chihuahua is the largest state in Mexico at 95,543 mi2 (247,455 km2). The state is an important commercial route for international trade and a thriving economic center, with the fifth highest manufacturing GDP in Mexico. Key economic drivers include the service sector, and the manufacturing and industrial sectors, with automotive (it hosts one of the top 6 clusters in the nation) manufacturing, dairy, agriculture and mining, among others, as main components. The state s educational and training centers are linked to support industry needs, and its multilingual and multicultural business environment is an important factor of its success. The capital city of Chihuahua is one of the most industrialized in the country, with the predominant economic activity revolving around manufacturing: there are nine major industrial parks located in the city, with about 79 maquiladora manufacturing plants. In fact, of all the non-border locations in Mexico, Chihuahua has the largest maquiladora presence in Mexico, with some of the larger companies including Ford Motor Co., Sumitomo Electrical, Honeywell, Hallmark, and LG Electronics. CLIMATE. Mostly dry, with hot summers in the low 90s F (30s C) with the occasional 100º F (37º C) days. Winters are mild with an average daytime temperature of 62.6ºF (17ºC) and an average minimum temperature of 35.6ºF (2ºC) in January, the coldest month. Most of the precipitation falls during the summer months, when the monsoon moves in and afternoon storms are common. This inland city is not affected by hurricanes however, it does have a tornado season between March and May. 45

24 46 NORTH THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 47 CHIHUAHUA Expo Chihuahua Chihuahua International Airport (CUU) Urban Eco-Tourism Adventure Medical 2,643 Rebeca Echanove / CEO Norma Rico / Promoter Roxana Madrigal / SMERF Executive Manager Alan Lara / Marketing Manager CHIHUAHUA Fiesta Inn Chihuahua Fashion Mall (2017) Hilton Garden Inn Chihuahua (2018) HOW TO GET HERE. The Chihuahua International Airport (CUU) has been undergoing extensive expansion and remodeling over the past couple of years, which will allow it to welcome up to 17 million passengers per year. The updates include expanding the check-in area, and the baggage, passenger, and baggage claim screening areas. The airport currently welcomes nonstop flights from Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, or Houston; there are also several short connecting flights available via Mexico City (MEX). WHERE TO STAY. Chihuahua offers planners a wide variety of domestic and well-known international brands to choose from for their clients. Rates are very reasonable and there are several four- and five-star properties near the Expo Chihuahua that offer facilities and professional business services for small- to mid-size groups, very convenient for breakout meetings that may stem from the larger events at the venue. WHERE TO MEET. Expo Chihuahua: One of the top ten meetings and convention venues in Mexico, it has been pivotal in the development of the strategic infrastructure for the city and for attracting and generating industry-related exhibition and convention services. This center offers 19,375 ft 2 (1,800 m 2 ) of exhibition area and 59,815 ft 2 (5,557 m 2 ) of meeting space. WHAT TO DO. Chihuahua is rich in culture and history, an added-value for planners and event attendees. The city s turn-of-the-century heyday is still present in its architecture, monuments, parks, and museums, and its important role in Mexico s 1910 revolution is visible in the General Francisco Villa Museum and the Historical Museum of the Mexican Revolution, part of the must-see list for a city tour. The state is the gateway to some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. If time is of the essence on the group itinerary, however, event attendees can travel just 15 minutes from the city center to see one of them: the Nombre de Dios Grottoes are 17 underground chambers filled with rock formations, stalagmites and stalactites, which they can enjoy on a guided visit that takes just about one hour. Highly recommended as a pre- and/or postevent add-on trip is a visit to the magnificent Copper Canyon of the Sierra Tarahumara. This spectacular natural attraction four times bigger and 1.5 times deeper than the Grand Canyon is best viewed by train either departing from the coast at Los Mochis or from the city of Chihuahua. DMCs offer tailored tours for individuals, groups, and incentives with a focus on culture, nature, adventure, and the traditions of the Tarahumara Indians, where they can take cooking classes and try basket weaving. 3 Ciudad Juarez Ciudad Juarez is the state of Chihuahua s most prominent city, sharing a border with Texas and New Mexico. This thriving metropolis is an important business, medical tourism, and cultural hub, and with a privileged geographical location and infrastructure for manufacturing and distribution. There are over 100 Fortune 500 firms operating production facilities here, and more than 300 maquiladora manufacturers in town, including ADC telecommunications, Bosch, Boeing, Flextronics, Lear, Yazaki, and Siemens, just to name a few. While the automotive and electrical product sectors lead the way, there is also a well-developed appliance, industrial machinery, metalworking, and transportation equipment manufacturing clusters, as well as production of aerospace and plastic parts, and communications, electronic, and computer equipment. Of note is the creation of the Ciudad Juarez Technology HUB in recent years, a sort of business incubator for the promotion of innovation and technological entrepreneurship in the region and a clear indicator of its young, welleducated, professional workforce. The city also relies on medical tourism to bolster its economy; a medical tourism cluster was launched in 2015, catering to US patients who can utilize their own insurance plans while receiving first-class medical care at very affordable prices. CLIMATE. Hot summers averaging 70º - 95ºF (21º - 35º C), mild springs and falls, and cold winters averaging 32º - 57ºF (0º - 14º C). Rainfall is scarce, falling mainly in the summer, and there is no hurricane season. Occasional snowfall can occur between November and March. HOW TO GET HERE. You can fly directly into the Abraham González International Airport (CJS) in Ciudad Juarez from Mexico City (MEX), which receives direct flights from Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas-Ft Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (California), Seattle, and Washington. You can also choose to fly into El Paso International Airport (ELP) and drive the 12 miles (19 km) to cross the border there are four international ports of entry that connect to Ciudad Juarez. WHERE TO STAY. Most of the city s best fourand five-star hotels are located in Ciudad Juarez s new golden zone, the area near the US Consulate, Las Misiones Shopping Center and several industrial parks, including Intermex, Bermudez, and Central Park, just 10 minutes from the International Zaragoza Bridge and 20 minutes from the International Cordova Bridge. Planners can expect mainly independently-owned or domestic brand hotels with meeting space for small to mid-size events, business services, and professional staff. WHERE TO MEET. Cibeles Ciudad Juarez Cultural Center: With 19,375 ft 2 (1,800 m 2 ) of exhibition area and 59,815 ft 2 (5,557 m 2 ) of flexible meeting space, this venue has cuttingedge A/V equipment, lighting services, WiFi, and all the technical services and support planners need for successful events and meetings of up to 1,800 people. Alternative venues include the Cuatro Siglos Convention Center with 37,673 ft² (3,500 m²) for events; the Anitas Convention Center with space for up to 8,000 people; and the Paso del Norte Convention Center, with room for up to 1,734 attendees WHAT TO DO. Event attendees can look forward to excellent themed restaurants to let off some post-event steam planners will want to ensure there is at least one stop at the Bar Kentucky, where the famous margarita was invented back in Group city tours include a stop at the Plaza de la Mexicanidad for its panoramic view and monument in honor of the country s dynamic struggles and change, as well as the Museum of the Border Revolution for a unique perspective of the city, and the Juarez City Art Museum. Not too far from the city center, planners can tap local DMCs to host thrilling additions to incentive programs, team-building experiences or theme dining at the Samalayuca Sand Dunes for adrenaline-fueled adventure; tandem sky-diving with SkyDive Juarez; or an afternoon of ecoadventures and challenges at Trepachanga, the only extreme sports park in Ciudad Juarez. STATE OF DURANGO 3Durango One of the largest states in Mexico, in the past three decades, the Durango moved from a primarily agricultural and mining economy into a more diversified commercial area, with hundreds of manufacturing and assembly facilities located in and around the capital city of Durango, with top sectors including automotive parts, textiles and economics. The economy is dominated by agriculture, mining, forestry, and retail. Thanks to its nearly 60 institutions of higher learning, per years Durango produces some 1,500 graduates in engineering, construction, and manufacturing, providing a well-educated labor pool. Of note is the fact that in 2015 there were approximately 200 academic researchers employed in the state, advancing technology and scientific information, primarily in the biotech, agronomy, and medical fields. Durango has the capacity and the infrastructure to host small to mid-sized meetings and conventions, and meeting planners will find it a well-equipped alternative for events that also has a unique set of attractions that set it apart from other destinations. CLIMATE. The climate is mostly dry and temperate with mild winters and warm summers, with temperatures ranging from 70ºF (21ºC) to 86ºF (30º C). As a result of the high altitude and aridity during the winter months, the daytime temperature range is large, resulting in cold nights (average 34ºF/1ºC in January). The rainiest months are during the summer, when afternoon storms are common and can be accompanied by hail or thunderstorms. HOW TO GET HERE. The Durango International Airport (DGO) receives direct flights from Chicago-Midway and Los Angeles. WHERE TO STAY. Meeting planners will find a handful of independent hotels housed in beautifully restored historic buildings, as well as several international and well-known domestic brands that cater to executives and business people. Expect meeting rooms for smaller groups, with all the business services and professional staff required. WHERE TO MEET. Bicentennial Cultural and Convention Center: his gorgeous colonial venue offers 22,625 ft² (2,100 m²) of exhibition area and 43,055 ft² (4,000 m²) of meeting space and can host events of up to 1,500 in the interior and 5,000 people in its ample outdoor areas. It has a unique series of hand-sculpted murals with historical scenes of Durango that are showcased during a sound and light show in the garden. Alternative venues include the Fairgrounds and Exposition Center, with a palisade for 5,800 spectators and a 10,000-person theater, plus a 33,906 ft² (3,150 m²) are for expos. WHAT TO DO. Planners will find Durango is Mexico with an unexpected twist. The historic center of the capital of Durango is a colonial jewel. Guided group tours for event attendees can begin at the Plaza de Armas, with obligatory stops at the Catedral de Durango, the Museo 450 and the magnificent Museo Francisco Villa, among others. The latter is part of the area s Film Tour, which starts there at the Paseo del Viejo Oeste theme Park, heads to several old movie sets and ends at the small town of CIUDAD JUAREZ Cibeles Ciudad Juarez Convention Center Ciudad Juarez International Airport (CJS) Urban Adventure 3,000 Francisco Moreno Villafuerte / CEO Elizabeth Reséndiz / Executive Director DURANGO Bicentennial Cultural and Convention Center Durango International Airport (DGO) Urban Adventure 1,200 Fernando Gutiérrez Lugo / CEO Elvira Silerio Díaz / Promotion Director

25 48 NORTH THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 49 HERMOSILLO Hermosillo Expo Forum Conventions and Expos Hermosillo International Airport (HMO) Urban 2, Francisco Xavier García / CEO Ana Cristina Retes Morales / Assistant Director MONTERREY Pabellon M CINTERMEX CINTERMEX Convex Center for Expos and Conventions SHOWCENTER Complex Monterrey International Airport (MTY) Urban Adventure Eco-Tourism 1,200 David Manilo Valdés / CEO Claudia González / Events Manager Sonia Castillo / Group Services MONTERREY Holiday Inn Express (2017) La Quinta Inn (2017) Sleep Inn (2017) NH Monterrey La Fe (2017) Hotel Mision Express Plus (2017) One (2017) Westin Monterrey (2018) SHOWCENTER Complex (2018) Four Points by Sheraton Monterrey Airport (2019) Hard Rock Monterrey (TBD) Chupaderos-planners will be hard-pressed to find a more unique addition to any program! Pre- and post-event tours and add-ons can include eco-adventures in the Bolson de Mapimi Biosphere Reserve with its mountains, deep canyons, and desert-perfect for team challenges. The reserve is also home to the Magical Town of Mapimi, a 17th-century village near the Ojuela mine. Nearby, the magnificent Ojuela Bridge spans 950 feet (290 m) across a 300-foot-deep (91 m) chasm-a perfect spot for an unforgettable group photo op. STATE OF SONORA 3Hermosillo Sonora is Mexico s second-largest state, sharing a border to the north with the states of Arizona and New Mexico. This state is rich in mineral sources and has a strong economic base, with a highly skilled labor force and strong ties to the US economy, mostly thanks to its shared border with Arizona. Agriculture is the most important economic activity in the state and it still maintains its traditional livestock industry, mainly beef cattle. The state is also a major producer of seafood in Mexico thanks to coastline along the Gulf of California, with much of its shrimp and sardine catch exported to the US. Most of the industry in the state is linked to agriculture and fishing, in food processing and packing. In addition to livestock, mining is another traditional element of the economy, and it still stands as one of the top 15 producers of minerals in the world. Since the 80s, Sonora has become an integral part of the manufacturing economy of Mexico. Automobile manufacturing, aerospace equipment, medical devices, metals fabrication and electronics are all on the list. The city and its municipality have 12 industrial parks, and its workforce is well-educated and skilled, an additional draw for business to the area. Hermosillo is also a beautiful, colorful, lively city with excellent culture and gastronomy and a wide range of options for planners to incorporate in their programs and events, including visits to the gorgeous Kino Bay on the Sea of Cortez. CLIMATE. Temperatures can range from as low as freezing in January and February to 118ºF (48ºC) in July and August. Rainfall is mostly between July and September. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season from May 15 - November 30 has been known to affect the area. HOW TO GET HERE. The Hermosillo International Airport (HMO) receives direct flights from Phoenix, Arizona. WHERE TO STAY. Hermosillo offers a number of four- and five-star properties, mainly domestic and independent hotels, with a sprinkling of international brands as well. They offer meeting space and professional services and facilities for small to mid-size events and meetings for up to 1,000 people. WHERE TO MEET. Expo Forum Hermosillo: This venue has 113,774 ft² (10,570 m²) of expo space and 37,135 ft² (3,450 m²) of flexible meeting space, with green areas, state-of-the-art A/V rentals, professional services, industrial kitchen with catering facilities, and more for up to 7,000 people. WHAT TO DO. Planners will find in Hermosillo a prosperous city with plenty of leisure attractions to keep their event attendees entertained in their free time, including American-style shopping malls and fast-food outlets to complement the local restaurants, a nicely preserved colonial area, museums, and plazas. Consider a historic city tour aboard the Trolebus for attendees to get their bearings and take home a bit of history with them. The city also serves as a jumping off point for pre- or post-event stays or incentive programs in coastal Sonora, as both Guaymas/San Carlos and Kino Bay are less than two hours away. Local DMCs can organize sport fishing trips and friendly tournaments on Kino Bay. STATE OF NUEVO LEON 3Monterrey The state of Nuevo Leon is highly industrialized, with the highest GDP per capita of of any Mexican state. It s home to powerful conglomerates including Cemex (one of the largest construction materials in the world), Bimbo (bakery and pastries), Johnson & Johnson, Alestra, Caterpillar, GE, Whirlpool, and FEMSA (Coca-Cola in Latin America), among several others. It also has a rich agricultural core that has been transformed into agro-industrial developments to produce increased revenues for the local economy. The state has also attracted significant investments in aeronautics, information and communication technologies, mechatronics, and biotechnology to its Research and Technology Innovation Park (PIIT) within the city of Monterrey, one of approximately 57 industrial parks in the region. The Monterrey metropolitan area is the 3rdlargest such area in Mexico, and is considered the most important financial, commercial, and industrial center of the North region. It s home to three top universities, which respond to the business and industrial sector s needs. Monterrey was, in fact, placed on the list of Smartest Cities in the World by Forbes magazine. The economy has a strong focus on manufacturing, services, distribution, research efforts and education at all levels, as well as the energy sector. The city is a leader in the business tourism industry, thanks to its excellent infrastructure, strong economy, growing professional class, and ample offer of leisure attractions for event attendees, companions, and/or incentive programs. It is also an important cultural center. CLIMATE. This is one of the warmest cities in Mexico, with daytime temperatures stay well above 86ºF (20ºC), topping 100ºF (38ºC) in the summer months; from December through February nights can drop to below 50ºF (10ºC). Rainfall is more frequent during May through September, which can significantly reduce the temperatures. Spring (March-May) and fall (October-November) are prime times to visit, with warm, sunny days and cool evenings. Atlantic Hurricane season can affect Monterrey and is active from June 1st through November. HOW TO GET HERE. The Monterrey International Airport (MTY) receives direct flights from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Antonio. In 2018 the Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte presented a Master Development Plan that included an expansion of the airport in order to prevent saturation and increase capacity to handle up to 20 million passengers per year. This would include an expansion of the terminals and the construction of a second runway. As of press time, construction was set to being in April with the expansion of Terminal A. WHERE TO STAY. The city has over 100 hotels with very modern options that include top domestic and international brands, with meeting facilities that range from the most avant-garde to the more traditional. Monterrey is known for the quality of its service, which is reflected in the hotels meetings and events staff and facilities. WHERE TO MEET. Pabellon M: The newest convention space in Monterrey, it offers a combination of boardrooms, event rooms, and terraces for a total of 86,111 ft² (8,000 m²) and meeting space in downtown Monterrey. CINTERMEX: A city icon, this venue has197,840 ft² (18,380 m²) of exhibition space and 85,035 ft² (7,900 m²) of convention space for up to 4,000 people with the latest technology and multifunctional spaces including gardens, esplanades, plazas, and more in the heart of the Fundidora Park. Convex Center for Expos and Conventions: This venue is located across eight floors in a building with cutting-edge technology, catering for up to 8,000, montage services, and a highly skilled staff. It includes a Theater, an Auditorium, the Ibiza Lounge, Boardrooms, and more for a total of 15 spaces that can host events from 10 to 2,000 people across 30,386 ft² (2,823 m 2 ) of expo space and 54,196 ft² (5,035 m 2 ) of meeting space. SHOWCENTER Complex: As of press time, this brand-new venue in the San Pedro Garza Garcia suburb, was still receiving the final touches. This world-class facility with cutting-edge technology is a multipurpose center, able to host everything from Broadway productions, music concerts, and social events to expos, conventions, and corporate events, including a gourmet catering services. The total surface area covers 93,968 ft² (8, m²), with 74, ft² (6, m²) for the Theater and 18, ft² (1, m²) for the Convention Hall, with room for up to 6,000 attendees in different configurations. WHAT TO DO. Event attendees will enjoy guided tours of the numerous museums and art galleries with world-class exhibitions, Mexico s largest brewery and beer garden, and excellent restaurants with local and international cuisine. Monterrey is also home to one of the largest crystal factories in the world, a beautiful aquarium-planetarium and the vast Fundidora Park, on the site of what was Latin America s first foundry, now an area of ample green spaces, walkways lined with trees and gardens and some of the city s most important landmarks. There are several DMCs ready to help planners create itineraries that incorporate the best of the local natural attractions, whether for pre- or postevent trips or incentive programs. One of the most famous attractions is the Cola de Caballo, a 75-foot (23 m) waterfall located in Monterrey s Cumbres Park, about 28 miles (45 km) southeast of the city. This park is extreme sports heaven. Other natural wonders include the colossal cave system of the Grutas de García, the Huasteca Canyon, El Salto, and the Chipinque Ecological Park, among others. visit our website a:

26 HOTELS This list includes some of the top properties suitable for the MICE FIESTA AMERICANA MONTERREY market; for a more comprehensive list of destination hotels please visit 307 rms. / 750 ppl CHIHUAHUA GRAN HOTEL ANCIRA HOTEL SHERATON CHIHUAHUA SOBERANO 256 rms. / 11 stes. 750 ppl. Gran Turismo rms. / 10 stes. / 1,400 ppl. COAHUILA PRESIDENTE INTERCONTINENTAL MONTERREY CAMINO REAL SALTILLO 305 rms. / 710 ppl. 164 rms. 19, sf. / 600 ppl WYNDHAM EXECUTIVO CULIACÁN OBREGÓN CROWNE PLAZA TORREON 193 rms. / 8,770 sf. / 600 ppl 230 rms. / 900 ppl DURANGO HOTEL GOBERNADOR DURANGO 99 rms. / 450 ppl. HERMOSILLO FIESTA AMERICANA HERMOSILLO HOTEL FIESTA INN CD. OBREGON 123 rms. / 500 ppl HOTEL GAMMA 221 rms. / 1,000 ppl. 123 rms. / 500 ppl. GUAYMAS - SAN CARLOS SAN CARLOS PLAZA HOTEL, RESORT & CONVENTION CENTER MONTERREY CROWNE PLAZA MONTERREY PUERTO PEÑASCO PEÑASCO DEL SOL HOTEL 173 rms. / 605 ppl. 403 rms. / 1,780 ppl. 204 rms. / 1,0000 sf FIESTA AMERICANA TORREON 188 rms. / 3 stes CULIACÁN SAN MARCOS 200 rms. / 800 ppl 50

27 CENTRAL THE INDUSTRIAL HEART OF MEXICO STATES OF AGUASCALIENTES, MEXICO CITY, MORELOS, JALISCO, GUANAJUATO, MICHOACAN, HIDALGO, PUEBLA, QUERETARO, SAN LUIS POTOSI AND ZACATECAS. Mexico s central region is its powerhouse, home to some of the country s top manufacturing centers for aerospace, automotive, and tech, as well as a strong industrial and agro-industry sector. STATE OF AGUASCALIENTES Aguascalientes STATE OF HIDALGO Pachuca MEXICO CITY STATE OF MORELOS Cuernavaca STATE OF JALISCO Guadalajara STATE OF GUANAJUATO Guanajuato Irapuato Leon San Miguel de Allende STATE OF MICHOACAN Morelia STATE OF PUEBLA Puebla STATE OF QUERETARO Queretaro STATE OF SAN LUIS POTOSI San Luis Potosi STATE OF MEXICO Toluca STATE OF ZACATECAS Zacatecas STATE OF AGUASCALIENTES 3Aguascalientes Part of the macro region known as Bajio, Aguascalientes has one of the most dynamic manufacturing industries in the country, with top international automotive names like Nissan, Mazda, GM, Honda, Volkswagen and a new Infinity plant contributing to the boom. The already strong agro-industrial sector has also seen recent improvements: currently there s a model in place where companies associate with campuses, giving students the opportunity to collaborate with state and foreign companies. This information exchange serves to elevate the quality of the available workforce in Aguascalientes. It should be noted Aguascalientes was named overall Best City for Doing Business in Mexico in 2016 in the Subnational Doing Business report from the World Bank Group. CLIMATE. The climate is very pleasant, with dry, mild winters and warm summers with average daily temperatures just below 80ºF (27ºC). Rainy season generally runs from June to September. HOW TO GET HERE. The Aguascalientes International Airport (AGU) receives nonstop flights from Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles, or connect from Mexico City (1h 10m) or Monterrey (1h 15m). WHERE TO STAY. The city s focus on economic growth, continued infrastructure development and industrial strength have attracted five-star venues and well-known U.S.-based hotel chain properties with well-equipped, modern rooms, executive amenities and on-site meetings and event spaces. WHERE TO MEET. San Marcos Convention Center: This top meeting and event venue has space for over 4,000 in 86,111 ft² (8,000) of expo space and 35,241 ft² (3,274 m²) of meeting space, including 8 rooms, an auditorium and an esplanade. 53

28 54 CENTRAL THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 55 AGUASCALIENTES San Marcos Convention Center Aguascalientes International Airport (AGU) City Adventure 2,700 Juan José González Velázquez / Director AGUASCALIENTES Hilton Garden Inn (2017) Sleep Inn (2017) Hotel Fiesta Inn (TBD) Hyatt Place (TBD) Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott at Meridiam Park (TBD) Off-Site Venues include the Morelos Theater for events up to 500 people; the Cultural Institute of Aguascalientes with two outdoor areas for up to 265 attendees and the Descubre, Interactive Museum of Science and Technology has several rooms, an auditorium, an IMAX theater and a central patio for up to 1,155 total people plus 48,438 ft² (4,500 m²) of gardens for social events. WHAT TO DO. The city is currently working on its master-planned Meridiam Park complex with a lineal park, a new hotel, a commercial plaza, and restaurants, cafés, movie theaters and entertainment venues (finish date TBD), which will add to its already considerable offer for groups. Coincide your event with one of several grand fiestas, including Mexico s oldest and largest, the San Marcos Fair. Held every year in April, the city s Jardín de San Marcos is transformed for three to four weeks into a venue where fine wines, the Fiesta Brava (bullfighting), fireworks and folklore pageants are among the main attractions some seven million people attend, so planners are encouraged to make plans early if they want their group to participate in this unforgettable experience. Outside the city, Aguascalientes is a magnet for adventure tourism, including mountain climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, and camping, offering possibilities for team building programs. MEXICO CITY No longer the Federal District (or Distrito Federal), Mexico City is its own state and has reflected this change with a brisk acronym in Spanish: CDMX. With a population of nearly nine million people 23 million if you add in the Metropolitan Area it is the largest and most important financial, political, cultural and educational center of the country. Its main economic activities are finance, commerce and tourism, with the latter being a top source of employment. This translates into a superb infrastructure in terms of hotels, restaurants, tourism service providers and more. Few cities can compete with this metropolis and its colorful and compelling mosaic of pre- Hispanic, European colonial and modern eras. From modern convention centers and hotels to historic parks and castles, Mexico City offers a variety of settings for gatherings of any size, including large-scale meetings and events. According to the International Congress and Conventions Association (ICCA), Mexico City ranked 4th in Latin and North America in number of meetings per city, and 34th worldwide in High profile events include hosting the first-ever NFL Monday Night Football game to be played outside the US (they now have a multi-year contract) and the Formula One Mexican Grand Prix, currently in its third year. CLIMATE. The high elevation gives the city one of the mildest climates in Mexico, with average temperatures ranging from 54ºF (12ºC) to 61ºF (12ºC). The hottest months are usually April and May, when temperatures can reach 86ºF (30ºC), and the coldest are December and January with the mercury dropping as low as 45ºF (7ºC). Rainy season is June through October. HOW TO GET HERE. The Mexico City International Airport (MEX) registered over 10.3 million international passengers the first semester of 2017 alone, a 12.1% increase over the same time period in It is currently Mexico s and Latin America s busiest airport by passenger traffic, and is served by 30 domestic and international passenger airlines. It currently receives nonstop flights from Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas-Ft Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (California), Seattle, and Washington. A new Mexico City Airport with an investment of US$9 billion is currently under construction and is expected to open in 2021, at which time the current one will cease operations. The facility is being built to the northeast of the city, about three miles away from the current facility. The first phase includes one X-shaped terminal capable of handling 68 million passengers with 96 gate bridges and 68 remote bridges, LEED certification, three runways capable of triplesimultaneous landing and takeoff and one control tower. Additional plans call for an expansion capable of handling up to 120 million passengers per year. WHERE TO STAY. As one of the top destinations for meetings in the world, Mexico City has more than its fair share of business class hotels that offer meeting space, business centers and highly qualified personnel to attend event-goers. The area closest to the southern part of Insurgentes Avenue (which literally crosses the entire city) is home to the World Trade Center Mexico City and its 3,000-seat Pepsi Center, and is a mostly walkable neighborhood with several four- and five-star options catering to event attendees. Polanco, the main urban upscale district in Mexico City, is home to the city s densest concentration of upscale shopping, hotels and restaurants, embassies, many of its top museums and Chapultepec Park Mexico s version of Central Park as well as the Mexican headquarters of many multinational companies. This elevated pedigree equals a list of some of the best hotels in the city, including AAA Four- and Five-Diamond options and a selection of exquisite boutique hotels perfect for boardroom meetings and stays. It is within easy access of the city s historic center via the spectacular Paseo de la Reforma. The Reforma-Centro area straddles the business world and the Historic Center of Mexico City, offering hotels with access to the walkable sections of Paseo de la Reforma, which has been called the Champs Elysees of Mexico. This area also offers excellent high-end accommodations including AAA Four-Diamond hotels. Their topnotch facilities coupled with their proximity to the Expo Reforma and the spectacular Historic Center make them a favorite for planners looking to give their clients the best mix of business and pleasure. Santa Fe, in the western portion of the city, is the newest and most modern of its business districts, having been developed mostly within the past 20 years. The site of a slew of multinational companies housed in high-rise buildings, there are a number of newer upscale properties geared specifically towards business travelers, with all the amenities and event space that are expected by international meeting planners.. WHERE TO MEET. World Trade Center: This venue hosts over 1,300 events yearly with 138,208 ft² (12,840 m²) of expo space and 128,661 ft² (11,953 m²) of meetings and convention space. It boasts a very central location close to the city s main arteries and offers attendees restaurants, shopping centers, and proximity to attractions.

29 56 CENTRAL THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 57 MEXICO CITY World Trade Center Expo Reforma Centro Citi Banamex Expo Santa Fe Blackberry Auditorium Mexico City International Airport (MEX) City Colonial Cultural Culinary 38,479 Mauricio Aarón Reyna / Events Director MEXICO CITY Hotel Fiesta Americana Toreo (2016) Hotel Barceló Ciudad de México (2017) Hotel Isaaya (2017) Hilton Garden Inn (2017) Hilton Mexico City Santa Fe (2017) Barceló Mexico Reforma (2017) Sofitel Mexico Reforma (2018) Ritz-Carlton Mexico City (2019) Courtyard by Marriott (TBD) Fairfield Inn & Suites (TBD) Park Hyatt (2021) Mexico City Airport (2021) It can handle meetings and events of 15 to 7,000 persons, and specializes in trade shows. Expo Reforma: With 68,781 ft² (6,390 m²) of expo space and 92,128 ft² (8,559 m²) of meetings and convention space, Expo Reforma is strategically located near the historical center of Mexico City close to major attractions and hotels. Its Pochteca room on the 8th floor-one of eightnot only has the capacity for up to 1,650 persons, but also offers an unparalleled and unique view of the city. Centro Citibanamex: This modern venue with a fabulous view of the adjacent Hipódromo de las Américas horse racetrack welcomes an average of 90 events every year with 369,019 ft² (34,283 m²) of expo space and 75,347 ft² (7,000 m²) of meetings and convention space for groups of up to 10,000. The Centro Citibanamex can host banquets of up to 14,000 place settings in a single day. It has a central location connected by Mexico City s new beltway to major highways for rapid transportation to other areas of the city. Expo Santa Fe: Located in the trendy commercial and residential area of Santa Fe and its prime hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, bars, and private clubs, this venue has 60,277 ft² (5,600 m²) of meetings and convention space and 403,915 ft² (37,525 m²) of expo space on a single story, which can be divided into three different areas according to the planner s needs. There are 16 indoor areas for up to 2,000 attendees, as well as 55,165 ft² (5,125 m²) of outdoor area for expos. Blackberry Auditorium: Famous for its concerts, the dynamic, modern Blackberry Auditorium has 15,091 ft² (1,402 m²) of multifunction meeting space and an equal amount of area for exhibitions, ready to welcome up to 3,172 attendees at one time: 2,000 standing and 1,172 sitting in the bleachers. This very versatile venue is more than just an auditorium, as it is a convention center that can host any type of event.. WHAT TO DO. Mexico City was touted as the No. 1 Place to Go in 2016 by The New York Times, which described it as a metropolis that has it all, topping the list for its renowned culinary scene (three of its restaurants made the World s 50 Best Restaurants list), distinct neighborhoods, forward-thinking design offerings, improved safety, and increased airlift and transportation. With its revamped public spaces, first-class hotels, wellrounded cultural experience, upscale shopping and state-of-the-art meetings and convention venues, planners will find it strikes the perfect balance between professional and recreational activities. Mexico City s cultural scene is unrivaled it s the second city with the highest number of museums in the world after London. Its diverse offer for preand post-event activities includes pre-hispanic archaeological sites (both within the city limits and day-trips to the massive Teotihuacan site), zoos, urban forests, green areas, art galleries and scores of entertainment attractions, such as the World Heritage site of Xochimilco, with its floating restaurants, flower markets and live music. From one end of the city to the other, planners will find countless options for one-of-a-kind events and meetings, from colonial-era buildings in the Historic Center consider the Mexico City Bankers Club in a renovated 16th century courtyard building-to the sleek glass-and-steel towers of the modern Santa Fe area. The neighborhoods of Roma, Condesa and Zona Rosa are known for their restaurants, including both well-established and new eateries that join taco stands and a choice selection of open-air cafés, making these locations great choices for fun dine-arounds for event attendees. The cuisine varies from the very traditional to nouvelle Mexican and international, as does the crowd. If clients are looking for nightlife, this zone has it, with live music for dancing, craft beer houses for sampling and signature bars for socializing after a long day of meetings. STATE OF MORELOS 3Cuernavaca The state of Morelos primary economic activities revolve around the automotive, chemical, textile, paper, cement and food industries. Tourism, attracted by its cultural and historical riches, its colonial architecture, archaeological zones, spas and landscapes, has also become a top economic activity. Cuernavaca is also the state s commerce and financial center. Known as the City of Eternal Spring for its pleasant climate, its proximity to Mexico City has made it an alternative meetings destination for many domestic and international companies to hold off-site meetings, medium-sized conferences and team building exercises. CLIMATE. Balmy and spring-like, the temperature typically varies from 54 F (12 C) to 93 F (33 F). The warmest months are April and May, with most rainfall seen in June, July, August and September. HOW TO GET HERE. Fly into Mexico City International Airport (MEX) and drive one hour into Cuernavaca. WHERE TO STAY. For an authentic, immersive stay for high-end clients, planners should consider one of the local Mexican haciendas-turnedluxury-hotel, with their colonial architecture, lush gardens and upscale amenities and services. The city also offers a diverse group of meetings hotels from both domestic and international chains. WHERE TO MEET. Morelos Convention Center: This venue offers 12,867 ft² (3,922 m²) of expo space and 27,900 ft² (2,592 m²) of meetings and convention space less than 10 miles (15 km) from the center of Cuernavaca. WHAT TO DO. Planners will find Cuernavaca is an excellent option for an off-site board meeting during events held in Mexico City thanks to its smaller, upscale venues, with golfing, luxury spas and visits to historic attractions available pre- or post-meeting. The destination also offers nearby eco-tourism options and archaeological ruins such as the UNESCO World Heritage site of Xochicalco. Of note is the local conventual cuisine, which provides visiting clients the opportunity to savor a unique mix of flavors that combines pre-hispanic, mestizo and gourmet traditions. Groups will enjoy team-building exercises on rafting trips down the Amacuzac River or a day at the Zempoala Lagoons National Park with its seven lagoons and pine forests. A post-event visit to the Magical Town of Tepoztlan or Tlayacapan should also be considered, as should two- to three-day tours along the Convents Route that takes them on a journey through Morelos visiting eleven 16th-century convents, not too far from the famous Popocatepetl volcano. Post-event, history buffs will enjoy a tour of the Zapata Route that traces the steps of General Emiliano Zapata during the Mexican Revolution. STATE OF JALISCO 3Guadalajara The third richest economy in the country, Jalisco is home to more than 30 of Mexico s largest companies. It ranks first in agribusiness, computers (manufacturing about 60% of all CUERNAVACA Morelos Convention and Expo Center Mexico City International Airport (MEX) Colonial Cultural Eco-Tourism 2,494 Sergio Perea Garza / CEO Events Rojé Andreés / Managing Director

30 58 CENTRAL THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 59 GUADALAJARA Expo Guadalajara Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) City Colonial Cultural Culinary 15,000 Gustavo Staufert Buclon / CEO Rocio Lancaster / Business Manager GUADALAJARA Tequila Route (2017) Hyatt Regency Andares Guadalajara (2017) 1970 Hotel Posadas Guadalajara (2018) Curio Collection by Hilton (2018) Hard Rock Guadalajara (2018) Hilton Guadalajara Midtown (2019) machines produced in Mexico) and jewelry manufacturing. Its capital city of Guadalajara is known as Mexico s Silicon Valley and for good reason. Not only is it the country s secondlargest city (pop. 1,500,800), but it s also the country s main software producer, with electronics and technology a close second. Jalisco exports around $21 billion in tech products and services, and hosts satellite offices for multinationals like IBM, Oracle, Intel, HP, Dell and Gameloft. The state also banks heavily on higher education with 12 universities, including the prestigious Monterrey Institute of Technology, which creates an IT funnel of 85,000 graduates per year. A 21st-century powerhouse in its own right, Guadalajara is an excellent host for business travelers, offering an excellent venue and hotel infrastructure along with a number of activities for pre- and post-events unique to the area. Notwithstanding its definite modern edge, the city retains a provincial flavor that infuses any event with its particular personality. CLIMATE. During the day, the highs average 91ºF (33ºC) in summer and around 77ºF (25ºC) in the winter; the temperatures during winter evenings can drop down to 41ºF (5ºC). Guadalajara s rainy season begins in the summer through early fall (June - October). HOW TO GET HERE. The Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) receives 1,490 direct international flights including direct flights from Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Denve, Fresno, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, New York, Oakland, Ontario, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Francisco, San Jose (California), and Seattle. The airport saw an increase of over 8% in connectivity in WHERE TO STAY. With one foot in its colonial past and a keen eye on the future, Guadalajara relishes the tech side of its persona, expressed in its cutting-edge boutique hotels, restaurants and bars, many times housed in turn-of-the-century buildings. Its hotel infrastructure is growing, with an expected 3,100 new rooms to be built by 2018, mostly destined to welcome the meetings industry. The city s current offerings include several upmarket international and national chain hotels that offer dedicated meeting and event space, including one located within the World Trade Center itself and another in one of the city s swankiest shopping areas. There is a good selection of top hotels within walking distance of the Expo, facilitating transportation for event attendees. WHERE TO MEET. Expo Guadalajara: Mexico s largest convention venue it has 444,517 ft² (41,297 m²) of expo space and 182,706 ft² (16,974 m²) of meetings and convention space, and welcomes over 1.5 million visitors from around the world every year. Off-site venues include the stunning 19thcentury Degollado Theater, the El Refugio Cultural Center and the Palace of Culture and Communication, a cutting-edge complex with 75,347 ft² (7,000 m²) for exhibits and 69,965 ft² (6,500 m²) for meetings and conventions. The Hospicio Cabañas, a UNESCO World Heritage site, also offers unique open-air event space and rooms for conferences, presentations, meetings, and more. Planners should consider visiting the multi-use haciendas in the town of Tequila with full meetings and events services and facilities owned by the city s top tequila distilleries, Jose Cuervo and Herradura. WHAT TO DO. Known as the Most Mexican of States, Jalisco s legacy of mariachi and tequila are ever-present in Guadalajara and this is the perfect place to get to the heart of these Mexican traditions. Planners can organize tours to the historic downtown by trolley, with stops at different shops selling the traditional Mexican sombreros, hand-made clothes and beautiful arts and crafts. A stop at the Mariachi Plaza for some tunes is a must, where event attendees will see not only the gorgeously dressed musicians, but also scores of dancers swirling about in typical garb dancing the traditional jarabe tapatío. Shopping is a sport in this area, with the neighborhoods of Tonala and Tlaquepaque offering not only beautiful crafts and housewares to take home, but also the opportunity for groups to learn how to make their own personalized piece of pottery or learn a pre-hispanic dance. Other incentive attractions include cooking classes in a restored hacienda, a morning enjoying the charros (Mexican cowboys) showing off their best tricks, or a visit to the Guachimontones pyramid, over 2,000 years old. Community programs can also be set up, such as visits to local schools or centers for the handicapped. A tour of the Magical Town of Tequila is a treat for groups that will enjoy following the new Tequila Route, which includes visits to Mundo Cuervo, a voyage of exploration aboard the Herradura Express and/or the Jose Cuervo Express plus stops in the towns, the vast blue agave fields and distilleries that distinguish this most Mexican of beverages. This area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and some of the larger distilleries make excellent venues for very Mexican-flavored events and meetings with all the facilities and services a planner might require. STATE OF GUANAJUATO 3Guanajuato Guanajuato state is known for its strong automobile and textile manufacturing sectors, its world-class leather goods, and as one of Mexico s top tourism destinations. Over the past few years the state has become a major manufacturing center for automotive companies, including newer plants from Honda, Mazda, Volkswagen, and Toyota, followed by their tier 1,2, and 3 suppliers from around the world, including a recent opening by Germany-based Willi Elbe. Guanajuato is also home to 25 universities and the largest workforce in the region, with over 30,000 engineers. The city of Guanajuato is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with tourism and commerce as its most important economic segments. This is a gorgeous colonial destination with beautiful plazas, winding cobblestone streets, Baroque architecture, theaters, and museums, offering planners an alternative destination for unique meetings and events held in a setting steeped in history and culture. CLIMATE. The climate is temperate, with averages in the mid-60s (10ºC). Summers are a bit rainy (between June and September) and winters are cool. Passing showers or afternoon thunderstorms are more common between July and August. HOW TO GET HERE. Fly into the Guanajuato International Airport (BJX) with nonstop flights from Atlanta, Chicago-Midway, Dallas-Ft Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Ontario. Because of its privileged location in the center of the country, this airport is considered one of the most important in Mexico, handling some 26 flights per hour. The airport s connectivity increased over 4% in WHERE TO STAY. Planners will find a delightful selection of boutique hotels in renovated villas and haciendas that are an excellent choice for boardroom meetings, with a handful of larger properties available for bigger groups. WHERE TO MEET. Guanajuato Convention Center: This center has 55,972 ft² (5,200 m²) of exhibit space and 20,421 ft² (1,900 m²) of meeting space for up to 1,200 people, with an auditorium that can hold up to 1,862 spectators. WHAT TO DO. As the cultural capital of the Bajio, Guanajuato hosts events year round that take over this city and neighboring San Miguel de Allende (pop. 171,857), just a daytrip for groups aboard an air-conditioned motor coach. These include the Cervantino Festival (October), the Guanajuato International Film Festival (July), The Writers Conference (February - SMA only), and the San Miguel de Allende Music Festival (January). The world-famous Cervantino Festival, for example, is a cultural extravaganza that stretches nearly the entire month and features opera singers, jazz musicians, dance companies and experimental theater groups, to name a few. The city of Guanajuato is very walkable and a great destination any time of year, with its picturesque buildings and plenty of restaurants, cafés, shopping, theaters, and galleries. Planners looking for alternative venues will find excellent choices for smaller, intimate events that will give attendees a very Mexican immersive experience. The state s gastronomy is also a draw, and the state hosts culinary events throughout the year in different municipalities: consider coinciding your event with one of the many gastronomic weeks, festivals, encounters with national and international chefs, and vineyard tours. 3Irapuato Irapuato is one of the most economically competitive municipalities in the state of Guanajuato thanks to its diverse industrial sector, its infrastructure and service offer. The state ranks third in production of textiles nationwide, and Irapuato is its main manufacturer and exporter. The growth of the automotive industry with the establishment of large plants with names such as Hella Group and Kosai, plus the creation of new industrial parks, have spurred the city s expansion. Agriculture is also a key component of its economy, and is the largest producer of strawberries, broccoli, carrots and avocados, among other fruits and vegetables. CLIMATE. Overall climate is warm and temperate, with the rainy season occurring mainly during the summer months (June - September). Temperatures range from highs in the upper 60s (15ºC) to mid- 80s (26ºC), to lows from 40ºF (4ºC) to 60ºF (15ºC). HOW TO GET HERE. Fly into the Guanajuato International Airport (BJX) with nonstop flights from Atlanta, Chicago-Midway, Dallas-Ft Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Ontario and drive 40 minutes to Irapuato. WHERE TO STAY. Irapuato is a small city by Mexican standards (pop. 397,700), but it has several 3- to 4-star limited-service businessoriented hotels-including a handful of well-known chain brands-for meeting planners to book attendees of the small- to mid-size events at the Inforum Irapuato. GUANAJUATO Guanajuato Convention Center Guanajuato International Airport (BJX) Colonial Cultural Culinary 1,476 Denisse Micheline Ojeda / CEO Juan Manuel Rendón / Managing Director IRAPUATO Inforum Irapuato Irapuato Convention Center Guanajuato International Airport (BJX) Colonial Cultural 1,500 Maryann Delgado Solorio / CEO Carlos Eduardo Maya / Promotion Manager GUANAJUATO Staybridge Suites Silao (2017) IRAPUATO Hotel Galería Plaza (2017) Staybridge Suites Irapuato (2017)

31 60 CENTRAL THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 61 LEON Poliforum Leon Guanajuato International Airport (BJX) Colonial Cultural 2,300 Ana María Valenzuela Gómez / CEO Yazmín de Jesus Quiroz / Events Director LEON Mexico Plaza Hotel Clevia (TBD) City Park Complex (2019) WHERE TO MEET. Inforum Irapuato: This venue has 91,127 ft² (8,466 m²) of expo and an equal amount of meetings and convention space. Irapuato Convention Center: This venue can welcome 1,200 attendees in its expo and meetings space. WHAT TO DO. This is a lovely colonial city with many of its buildings painted a beautiful shade of golden orange, offering attendees a pleasant leisure component to their Irapuato event. Group tours can be organized to the museum, to the Town Hall for a look at the hand-painted murals and to enjoy the dancing water fountains in the town s historic Hidalgo Plaza. 3Leon The state of Guanajuato s main industry clusters are: fashion, textile, footwear, logistics, automotive, and health and wellness. It is an important hub of the automobile industry, hosting companies such as General Motors, Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Pirelli, Volkswagen and Ford. Other important industrial sectors are food, textile and footwear manufacturing, featuring companies such as Conagra, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Nike and Poppy Barley. Its capital, Leon, is the state s biggest city (pop. 1,277,770), and is known as the Shoe Capital of the World thanks to its strong leather industry about 70% of all shoes made in Mexico come from Leon and the surrounding areas, with notable international brands including Nike, Converse, Crocs, Steve Madden, Skechers, New Balance, Zappos, Dockers, Justin Boots, Pikolinos, Sorel, Levis, Lacrosse, Frye, Aldo, Zara, and Nine West, among others. The city boasts strong agricultural and livestock sectors as well, but as part of the industrial corridor of Guanajuato it, too, has a very strong car automotive industry component, including a General Motors plant in nearby Silao municipality. Leon has a privileged location-only five hours by car from Mexico City and three hours from Guadalajara and is one of the 10 largest cities in Mexico with a population of 1,277,770, strengthening its position as a place where business gets done, and planners can find the infrastructure and services they need for a successful event. It has, in fact, recently placed as the 5th most important meetings industry destination in Mexico, after Mexico City, Cancun, Guadalajara and Monterrey, with 27% of its visitors aligned within that segment. CLIMATE. The area s highland climate is pleasant and mostly dry, with average temperatures in the mid-60s F (18ºC). The hottest month is May, when temperatures reach the 70s F (22ºC) and the coldest is January, when the average temperature is 57ºF (14.4ºC). HOW TO GET HERE. Fly into the Guanajuato International Airport (BJX) with nonstop flights from Atlanta, Chicago-Midway, Dallas-Ft Worth, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Ontario, and drive one hour to Leon. WHERE TO STAY. Leon has a selection of Three- and Four-Diamond properties ready to welcome top executives, as well as a cluster of large American chain hotels and national brands with business amenities and meetings facilitiesincluding one conveniently attached to the convention center. WHERE TO MEET. Poliforum Leon: This venue has over 236,806 ft² (22,000 m²) of expo space and 129,167 ft² (12,000 m²) of meetings and convention space in a acre (67-hectare) complex that is a business, entertainment and cultural center. Off-Site Venues include the Guanajuato Cultural Forum for events of up to 2,400 people. WHAT TO DO. Leon combines colonial history with a modern flair, and its location is ideal for post-event day trips to surrounding Magical Towns, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Guanajuato and even pre-hispanic archaeological sites. There are several routes planners can follow to book tours for their groups, including the PiCaSo Route, which takes them on a closer look to local tanneries, shoe manufacturing plants, leather workshops, the traditional footwear market and specialized commercial areas. Likewise, the Fashion Route, touted as a #FashionExperience, takes interested groups through the city s fashion industry, and includes forays into Leon s showrooms with a tourism and culinary component as well. Planners should also consider booking an event to coincide with the yearly November hot air balloon festival (FIG) a four-day event that has become one of the top three balloon events in the world with over 200 participants from 23 countries (2017) or the WRC Rally Guanajuato Mexico, celebrating its 15th year in March 2018 with the presence of renowned international drivers and thousands of spectators. These are just a couple of the many events the city hosts on a yearly basis. 3San Miguel de Allende A UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Miguel de Allende is famous worldwide for its cobblestone streets and beautiful colonial architecture, but outside the city limits it is known for its agriculture and the production of electricity. Of note: it was recently named Best City in the World by Travel + Leisure magazine. Tourism is its strongest economic driver, followed by commerce and a smaller percentage dedicated to agriculture and manufacturing. It s interesting to note the average age of its population is 22 years, and its inhabitants include people with 63 different nationalities. CLIMATE. May is the hottest month, with an average high of 87 F (30 C). January is the coldest month, with an average high of 73 F (22 C). Rainy season extends from June through September, with sunny mornings and occasional stormy afternoons). HOW TO GET HERE. Fly into the Guanajuato International Airport (BJX) in Leon and drive for 1.5 hours to San Miguel de Allende; fly into the Queretaro Intercontinental Airport (QRO) nonstop from Dallas or Houston and drive for an hour and fifteen minutes; or fly into the Mexico City International Airport (MEX) and drive the 3.5 hours to San Miguel de Allende. WHERE TO STAY. San Miguel has a plethora of beautifully restored buildings converted into upscale boutique hotels, as well as several larger stand alone chain properties that follow the same style while offering cutting-edge business solutions, ampler suites and high-end meeting spaces. Because of its small size, planners might want to consider a city-wide takeover of its topnotch luxury facilities. The city is home to three of the top 10 hotels in all of Mexico, recognized by readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler magazines. WHERE TO MEET. La Casona de San Miguel Convention Center: This recent construction has 6,243 ft² (580 m²) of exhibit space and 16,792 ft² (1,560 m²) of meeting space for up to 1,500 people; it also has an adjacent 76-room hotel. Alternative venues include the Ignacio Ramirez Cultural Center, the Angela Peralta Theater, gardens, restored haciendas, historic buildings, and public plazas. WHAT TO DO. San Miguel offers planners historic grandeur, a world-class tourism infrastructure, exquisite gastronomy and a thriving art community any meeting here is easily transformed into an incentive that will inspire attendees. This colonial jewel revolves around the shady plaza in front of the beautiful pinkhued Saint Michael the Archangel Church, which looks like a European postcard; groups can view it from the comfort of a tram tour that includes 20 of the areas top attractions. Planners can look into organizing a traditional callejoneada event for their clients, which will take their clients on foot through the most picturesque streets of the historic center accompanied by live music, costumed stilt walkers (mojigangas), and a colorfully-adorned burro carrying wine, tequila or mescal. Event attendees can also enjoy shopping in the many upscale silver, clothing, galleries and leather goods boutiques; or a dine-around in the many gourmet restaurants; while golfers can tee off at the Malanquin Golf Club, the Faldo-designed 18-hole Ventanas de San Miguel Golf Club, or the Zirandaro Golf Club. Just 20 minutes from the city, there are four different vineyards where planners can arrange pre- and post-event tastings that include local artisan cheese and other delicacies. Other memorable group outings can include early morning hot-air balloon rides, tours on horseback, rappelling, the Atotonilco Route that includes a visit to the sanctuary known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas, a nighttime hour-and-ahalf Legends tour, and more. STATE OF MICHOACAN 3Morelia Michoacan is one of Mexico s top agricultural producers, with avocados as its principal crop. Tourism is also a revenue generator for the state and there is some industrial activity, mainly in the capital, Morelia. A colonial gem, tourism is one of its main producers, along with commerce, SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE La Casona de San Miguel Guanajuato International Airport (BJX) Queretaro International Airport (QRO) Mexico City International Airport (MEX) Colonial Cultural Culinary 1,023 Francisco García Chávez / President Salvador Fideanda / Meetings Coordinator SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende (2018)

32 62 CENTRAL THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 63 MORELIA Morelia Convention and Expo Center Morelia International Airport (MLM) Colonial Cultural Culinary 2,600 Ruggiero Zepeda Maldonado / Director David Erick Hernández / Promotion Director manufacturing and agriculture. Its top quality communications, hotel, meetings venue, and professional services infrastructure, as well as its excellent climate welcome planners year round. Meanwhile, its rich cultural, natural and culinary offer, coupled with its nightlife and renowned hospitality, create the ideal environment for memorable events. CLIMATE. Average temperature varies in Morelia from 40ºF (4.4ºC) to 84ºF (28.8ºC)-the cooler months are November through February, with the warm season extending from April through June, with most rain and overcast skies concentrated between June through October. HOW TO GET HERE. Fly nonstop into Morelia International Airport (MLM) from Chicago-Midway (seasonal), Chicago O Hare, Dallas, Los Angeles and Oakland. Or connect through Mexico City (MEX) on a 50-minute flight. Where To Stay. Planners will find several business class hotels offering executive services in the city, but they might want to consider introducing their clients to one of the many boutique hotels it offers, many of them in stunning colonial buildings. They are comfortable, upscale and have every modern amenity a traveler needs. The city currently boasts 22 five-star and 34 four-star properties. Where To Meet. Morelia Convention and Expo Center: Also known as CECONEXPO, it was recently renovated and includes a cultural complex with an Orchid House, a planetarium, shopping plaza and a theater that seats 1,338. The Expocenter has 89,684 ft² (8,332 m²) of expo space and 30,128 ft² (2,799 m²) of meetings space. WHAT TO DO. The rich state of Michoacan lends itself to ideal off-the-beaten path events and programs for groups, as few have the culinary, cultural, architectural or touristic attractions it offers. Post-event exploration in Morelia is a must: this is a UNESCO World Heritage site with exquisite elegant buildings made of pink limestone and one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the Americas. Attendees can enjoy the openair art shows held along the San Diego Avenue (Calzada), take home a souvenir from the large selection of handicrafts can be found in the House of Crafts (Casa de las Artesanias), or sit at one of the many recitals and concerts held in its historic buildings. Planners should consider a tram tour during the day or an after-dark walking tour with a storyteller who can recount the many legends of the city. The city also has an excellent selection of restaurants that lend themselves to group dinearounds or off-site events. Of course, if clients are looking for something a little more mainstream in a beautiful setting, Morelia offers three golf courses for business chats on the greens. Short tours to the surrounding villages each known for a different handicraft-offer a unique added value to any convention any time of the year. The city is also the ideal home base for group tours further out into the state, including visits to the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Agangueo (November through March) or an unforgettable experience for the Day of the Dead celebrations in Patzcuaro (October 31 - November 2). STATE OF HIDALGO 3Pachuca The most important economic sector in the state of Hidalgo is the manufacturing industry: it s the top producer for cement, manganese and barley in the country. The state is also one of the most important textile and clothing manufacturers, with the automotive and tourism sectors growing at a fast clip. Its capital city of Pachuca was once one of Mexico s most important mining cities it s still the source of over 60% of gold production and 50% of silver production for the state, but today its primary economic activity also relies on agriculture and livestock, followed by manufacturing, investments, commerce and tourism. CLIMATE. The climate is semi arid, warm and temperate with occasional freezes. Summers having plenty of rainfall and winters are dry. Temperatures average around 61ºF (16ºC). HOW TO GET HERE. Fly to Mexico City International Airport (MEX) and drive 45 minutes to Pachuca. Where To Stay. Pachuca offers accommodations for small to mid-size groups, including five-star properties that can cater to executive-level events. WHERE TO MEET. TuzoForum: Located in the Ben Gurion Park, this venue has eight rooms with facilities for groups from 20 to 2,000 people with 60,277 ft² (5,600 m²) of expo space and 16,145 ft² (1,500 m²) of meeting space. The park also has an esplanade for large outdoor functions and the Gota de Plata Theater, which can accommodate up to 1,800 people. WHAT TO DO. Planners will find it easy to organize post-event tours through the beautiful state of Hidalgo by following any of its tourism routes, including the Huasteca Sierra Route (home to Huastec communities and excellent for ecotourism and extreme sports), the Hot Springs Route (the state ranks second in Mexico for the number of thermal springs), and the Haciendas Route (excursions to some of the state s 176 former haciendas, built mostly in the 16th and 19th centuries), among others. Hidalgo is also home to several Magical Towns, some of which can be visited when following the Mountain Route, that also takes groups by the state s famous basalt prisms, one of only two geological formations of this type in the world. In the city, Pachuca s temperate climate invites walking tours of its historic colonial center and its beautiful baroque architecture. STATE OF PUEBLA 3Puebla Blessed with a strategic location in the southern center of the country, the state of Puebla is the second largest automotive producer in the country in fact, Audi recently opened a $1.3 billion plant there in a rural area the government is envisioning as converting into a major industrial center over the next few decades. Other important strategic industries include metalworking, chemistry, plastics, textiles and clothing, furniture, agro-industrial, fresh and processed foods, tourism, decorative items, marble, mining, medical services and technologies of information (IT). In the field of infrastructure, the state has 18 industrial and/ or technological parks, including the May 5 PACHUCA TuzoForum Mexico City International Airport (MEX) Urban Adventure Eco-Tourism Gabriela L. Samperio González / CEO Yazmín de Jesus Quiroz / Deputy Director of Special Events

33 64 CENTRAL THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 65 Industrial Park, the Resurrection Industrial Zone and the Puebla 2000 Industrial Park. Besides its importance as a top automotive cluster in Mexico, it s also one of the main cities in the metalworking industry and was a pioneer in the production and export of textiles nationwide. And, as one of the country s most beautiful colonial cities, its cultural, culinary, natural and man-made attractions have made tourism a strong source of income. Of note: its proximity to Mexico City (75 miles/120 km away) makes it an excellent alternative for boardroom meetings and high-level executive retreats. the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies (Santuario de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios), built on the top of what turned out to be the biggest pyramid in the world. The structures, juxtaposed against the snow-capped peak of the Popocatepetl volcano, make one for one of the most impressive views in the world. Guided small group tours are available through the pyramid tunnels. There are also several established tourism routes planners can take advantage of for group tours, including the Sierra Mágica Route in the north for handicrafts, nature, cuisine, and wellbeing. PUEBLA Centro Expositor y de Convenciones Puebla William O. Jenkins Puebla Convention Center Cholula Center Puebla International Airport (PBC) Colonial Cultural Culinary Eco-Tourism 5,064 Julio Barberan / President Paola Blancas / Responsible for Biddings and Events PUEBLA Rosewood Puebla (2017) Crowne Plaza Puebla (2017) Westin Puebla (2018) CLIMATE. The average yearly temperature falls between 50 F (10 C) and 58 F (20 C) on average, with highs that can go to 86ºF (30ºC) in August and lows dipping to 32ºF (0ºC) in January. Rainy season extends from June through October, with July receiving most of the rainfall. HOW TO GET HERE. The Puebla International Airport (PBC) welcomes 57 international flights including nonstop from Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston-Intercontinental. Alternatively you can fly nonstop into Mexico City (MEX) and drive two hours to Puebla. WHERE TO STAY. This beautiful colonial city has a handful of mid-size luxury chain hotels with facilities for mid- to smaller meetings and events, but it truly shines in the more intimate, boutique hotel category. Some of these are true jewels, and in addition to their top-shelf service and beautiful accommodations, they also revel in one of Puebla s greatest gifts to Mexico and the world: its intricate cuisine. WHERE TO MEET. Puebla Exposition Center: This venue has 430,556 ft² (40,000 m²) of exposition space plus 55,972 ft² (5,200 m²) for meetings and conventions. William O. Jenkins Puebla Convention Center: With 49,675 ft² (4,615 m²) of expo space and 48,857 ft² (4,539 m²) of space for meetings and conventions. Cholula Center: Located in the nearby city of Cholula, this ultra-modern center has 86,111 ft² (8,000 m²) of space for meetings and exhibitions for up to 14,000 attendees. WHAT TO DO. Puebla s rich indigenous soul, the legacy of the Spanish conquest, and modern amenities coupled with its historic infrastructure make it an excellent choice for planners wishing to create exciting, unique events in the interior of Mexico. The city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a very pedestrian-friendly center, though groups might enjoy the narrated hop-on-hop-off buses around town (booking a tour following the so-called Angelopolis Circuit is another excellent option.) Puebla is known for its intricate cuisine, and planners will find several boutique hotels in town that offer cooking lessons and tastings that serve as unforgettable addedvalue components. Outside the city, post-event day tours to the Magical Town of Cholula are a must for a visit to STATE OF QUERETARO 3Queretaro Though one of the smallest states in the country, Queretaro actually held 31% of Mexico s infrastructure budget in 2016, with many factors contributing to its growing economy including government support for higher education. It was also named one of the top places to do business in the Americas for 2015/2016, according to the Financial Times. The state boasts several stellar sectors including aerospace, automotive (Michelin, TRW, Kostal, and more), IT (IBM, Delphi, GE, Ericsson, Altec, and more), home appliances (Daewoo, Samsung, and Siemens to name a few), and food production (Gerber, Campbells, Mars, Kellogg s and more). Its proximity to Mexico City and Texas ports add to its appeal. Together with its capital city of Queretaro, it has become the main hub to Mexico s aerospace clusters, with big name companies such as Airbus, Safran, Delta, and Bombardier settling in. CLIMATE. Average high for Queretaro is 72ºF (22ºC) with an average low of 60ºF (15.5ºC). HOW TO GET HERE. The Queretaro International Airport (QRO), which posted a 14% increase in air connectivity in 2016, receives 61 international flights including direct flights from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Los Angeles. WHERE TO STAY. Though it has a very colonial heart, the capital city of Queretaro nonetheless is a very modern mid-sized city thanks to the steady influx of investment in avant-garde technologies. Properties tend to stay under 200 rooms, but because of its importance as a manufacturing center many offer executive meetings spaces and have dedicated meeting professionals on staff. There are several boutique hotels in the historic center that are worth taking a look at. Nearby Juriquilla, about half an hour north of the city center, is a residential area with a head for business, and has several newer hotels that offer meetings and event space with full-service business centers and staff. WHERE TO MEET. Queretaro Convention Center: This venue was designed under International quality standards with 69,427 ft² (6,450 m²) for expos, and 43,830 ft² (4,072 m²) for meetings and conventions. WHAT TO DO. Queretaro s UNESCO World Heritage downtown center offers excellent options for event attendees to immerse themselves in Mexico after a long day of meetings, including great restaurants, museums and shops, which can now be visited via trolley or Segway tours offered by the Secretariat of Tourism of Queretaro. Groups will enjoy a day trip to see the third largest monolith of the world in the Magical Town of Bernal, popular with rappel enthusiasts and hikers. Bernal also serves up excellent arts and crafts and gourmet goods in its very picturesque historic center, where a late afternoon meal comes with a view of the monolith. Of note is the fact that Queretaro is part of the second most important wine regions in the country and is the leading wine exporter nationwide. With vineyards located between Tequisquiapan and Bernal, and cheese factories nearby that produce everything from fresh cheeses to mature sheep and goat cheese, its Art, Cheese and Wine Route is an excellent option for post-event tours. The Route includes visits to the sanctuaries on the route, stops at exhibits in different wine cellars and shopping for local crafts. STATE OF SAN LUIS POTOSI 3San Luis Potosi The state of San Luis Potosi s strategic location between three major cities Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara and four major ports have made it extremely attractive to industry; it currently has 20 industrial parks to its name. The automotive segment makes up nearly a quarter of the state s manufacturing industry, the state has a very diversified industrial sector that still includes the traditional mining industry, as well as food (Grupo Bimbo, Mabe), steel, chemical products, home appliances and a strong agricultural sector (it s one of the topthree tomato producers in the country). About 35% of the 3500 automotive suppliers in Mexico are based within 186 miles (300 km) of the capital city of San Luis Potosi, making it a major provider of the industry. Companies include Robert Bosch and Cummins, as well as a new BMW plant that s expected to assemble up to 150 thousand 3 Series unites starting in 2019, and late last year Goodyear invested $550 million in a new tire factory. The World Bank ranked the city as the 8th-best city to do business in Mexico, and it was ranked 4th-best the previous year by KPMG. In fact, in 2016 the city hosted 123 conferences and conventions, and according to state reports around 75% of passengers using the airport are business travelers. CLIMATE. The average yearly temperature is 70 F (21 C), the lowest average temperature is 46 F / 8 C in January and the highest average is about 90 F (32 C) in May. Most rainfall is seen June through September; the warmest months are April and May, the coolest is January. HOW TO GET HERE. The San Luis Potosi International Airport (SLP) receives 122 international flights including nonstop flights from Houston and Dallas; or you can connect via Mexico City (MEX) on a one-hour flight. WHERE TO STAY. Business travel to San Luis Potosi has increased sharply over the past few years, expanding the city s hotel industry. Planners will find modern five-star properties with state-ofthe-art meetings spaces, and rooms and suites for larger groups. Smaller executive groups might want to opt for one of a handful of very upscale boutique hotels in the city center. WHERE TO MEET. San Luis Potosi Convention Center: This venue offers 49,513 ft² (4,600 m²) of meetings space and 97,370 ft² (9,046 m²) of expo space housed in a superb modern building with world-class facilities. QUERETARO Queretaro Convention Center Queretaro International Airport (QRO) Colonial Cultural Culinary Eco-Tourism 5,942 Aurora Aguilar Acuña / Meetings Coordinator David Trejo Ramírez / Logistics Leader, Meetings Deneb Lucía Falcón Ledesma / Promotion Leader for Meetings QUERETARO Hotel City Express (2018) Aloft Queretaro (2018)

34 66 CENTRAL THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 67 SAN LUIS POTOSI San Luis Potosi Convention Center Centro Potosino de Convenciones San Luis Potosi International Airport (SLP) Colonial Cultural Culinary Eco-Tourism 2,805 Erika Quintero / Groups and Incentives Manager TOLUCA Toluca Convention and Expo Center Toluca International Airport (TLC) Cultural Metropolitan 2,370 Federico Treviño Villareal / General Manager, Meetings Erika Chávez Sandoval / General Manager, Events SAN LUIS POTOSI Conrad San Luis Potosi (2017) TOLUCA Toluca Convention and Expo Center (2018) Potosino Convention Center: With 8,072 ft² (750 m²) of expo space and 15,069 ft² (1,400 m²) this smaller venue lends a colonial feel to meetings and events. WHAT TO DO. San Luis Potosi s stunning architecture, excellent museums, art centers, and theaters are a main attraction, offering event attendees an enriching, value-added experience. The central historic center has an active cultural scene, which can include hands-on activities for groups such as language classes, handicraft workshops and cooking classes. The city also offers a fun and varied nightlife, with symphony orchestra presentations, open-air theater and live music venues, as well as bars and discos for letting off some after-meetings steam. Pre- and post-event activities include jaunts outside the city to visit traditional villages and engage in ecotourism in the Huasteca countryside. STATE OF MEXICO 3Toluca The State of Mexico (also known as Edomex, short for Estado de Mexico) is positioned as the second economy of the country, only behind Mexico City, with large industrial parks and a strong export sector. The state GDP is composed primarily by the manufacturing industry, mainly machinery and equipment, electronics, automotive and textiles; followed by the service sector, commerce, hotels and restaurants; and, finally, financial services and real estate activities. In addition, it exports carnations, chrysanthemums, and roses. Interestingly, despite being landlocked it s positioned as the top producer of trout and carp in the nation. Its capital, Toluca, is a small city (pop. 520,000) and an important industrial center. Established industries include the production and distribution of beverages, processed foods, textiles, automobiles, electrical, chemical and pharmaceutical products. Primary sector activities also include agriculture and livestock. The State of Mexico and its capital have also become one of the top producers of the automotive industry, with a large number of Tier 1 companies settling in the area. The city s meetings sector received a strong boost from the recent opening of the Toluca Convention and Expo Center in CLIMATE. The weather is mild in the winter, hot and dry in April and May. The rainy season starts in May and lasts until October, with sunny mornings and cloudy, rainy afternoons. It can be cold in the mornings and the evenings, especially during the winter. The average temperature is 61ºF (16ºFC). HOW TO GET HERE. The modern Toluca International Airport (TLC) receives nonstop flights from Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas, San Antonio or Memphis, or via connecting flight (1.25 hour) from Monterrey. Toluca is less than two hours from the Mexico City International Airport (MEX). WHERE TO STAY. The local hotel infrastructure received an injection of funds from the state not too long ago that enabled local hoteliers to improve, modernize and expand their facilities. Meeting planners will also find several US-based hotel chains in town with business services and amenities. > WHERE TO MEET. Toluca Convention and Expo Center: Inaugurated in January 2017, this new center boasts an area of 33,282 ft² (3,092 m²) of expo space and 52,743 ft² (4,900 m²) of meeting space across three levels with six ballrooms, two terraces, a buffet area, a pressroom, a lounge and a convention hall. State of Mexico International Expo and Convention Center: Also known as the CIECEM, this venue offers 86,111 ft² (8,000 m²) of expo space and 96,875 ft² (9,000 m²) of meeting space. WHAT TO DO. Toluca has the second largest selection of museums in the country and a gorgeous 19th century colonial center with a French flair. Planners will want to include a preor post-event visit to the famous Cosmovitral, a unique art nouveau-style building with exquisite stained-glass windows and a gorgeous botanical garden. Without a doubt, however, the state s best-known attraction is the pyramids of Teotihuacan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Groups staying in Toluca or Mexico City (about an hour away) can be bussed out for a morning tour to the place where men become gods, a sacred site was an important religious and economic center that pre-dated the Aztecs. There are plenty of facilities on-site, including toilets, a restaurant, and a museum. STATE OF ZACATECAS 3Zacatecas The state of Zacatecas strategic sectors are metal mechanics, tourism and agro-industry, with an eye towards a future in IT, mining, nonmetallic products and automotive manufacturing. In fact, the capital city of Zacatecas fastest growing industry is the latter, and it s an ideal location for small- and mid-size suppliers for that industry thanks to its proximity to the BMW San Luis Potosi plant (planned for 2019) and Nissan in Aguascalientes. Its privileged location in north-central Mexico, as well as its wide variety of tourism attractions and historical spaces, make it an ideal destination for conventions and meetings of all kinds. CLIMATE. Chilly in winter, with mild, dry summers and an average temperature of 62 F (17 C). The highest elevations can get snow; the rainy season is during the summer, from June through September. HOW TO GET HERE. Fly nonstop to the Zacatecas International Airport (ZCL) from Chicago, Dallas or Los Angeles. Or fly into Mexico City (MEX) for a 1.5-hour connecting flight. WHERE TO STAY. Zacatecas combination of colonial heritage and strong manufacturing component is reflected in its accommodations offer, which includes known chain hotels with executive and business services and meetings space as well as unique properties housed in the Baroque buildings of the past, brought up to modern standards with every amenity possible. WHERE TO MEET. Convention Palace: This venue has 52,204 ft² (4,850 m²) of flexible meetings, expo and events space for up to 5,000 attendees. Zacatecas Fair and Expo Center: This venue offers 172,222 ft² (16,000 m²) of expo space, with 22 rooms and areas for very large events with banquet and event planning services. WHAT TO DO. Zacatecas is rich in cultural, religious, and historical significance. Walking tours of the beautiful World Heritage Site known for its architecture and pink quarry stone are a good way for event attendees to end an event or kick one off, as is a ride in the cable car connecting the two mountains for a view of the city. Consider booking groups on the bull or mescal tourism routes, or on team-building eco-adventures in the Sierra de Organos National Park. Zacatecas Magical Towns are another great bet for pre- and post-event tours, with most located within 40 minutes of the city center. ZACATECAS Convention Palace Zacatecas Fair and Expo Center Zacatecas International Airport (ZCL) Colonial Cultural Eco-Tourism 2,214 Anabell Flores Islas / Meetings Director ZACATECAS Zacatecas Centro Historico Curio Collection by Hilton (2018

35 HOTELS HOTELS This list includes some of the top properties suitable for the MICE market; for a more comprehensive list of destination hotels please visit SHERATON MARÍA ISABEL HOTEL & TOWERS 755 rms. / 67 stes. IXTAPAN DE LA SAL HOTEL IXTAPAN SPA & GOLF RESORT QUERÉTARO CASA INN PREMIUM QUERÉTARO 52,807 sf. / 1,500 ppl rms. / 20 stes. / 900 ppl. 195 rms. / 4,037 sf. / 500 ppl. AGUASCALIENTES FIESTA AMERICANA 192 rms. / 1,769 sf. / 500 ppl THE WESTIN SANTA FE MEXICO CITY 259 rms PRESIDENTE INTERCONTINENTAL GUADALAJARA Gran Turismo LEÓN HOTEL HOTSSON Gran Turismo HACIENDA JURICA 239 rms. / 8,138 sf. / 1,000 ppl SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE CELAYA WYNDHAM GARDEN CELAYA CAMINO REAL SANTA FE Gran Turismo 300 rms. / 22 stes. HYATT REGENCY MEXICO CITY CUERNAVACA CAMINO REAL SUMIYA 823 rms. / 1,000 ppl RIU PLAZA GUADALAJARA 211 rms. / 34,281 sf. / 1,300 ppl RADISSON POLIFORUM PLAZA HOLIDAY INN QUERÉTARO CENTRO HISTÓRICO 234 rms. / 4,812 ppl. HOTEL REAL DE MINAS 215 rms. / 800 ppl 150 rms. / 1, sf. / 70 ppl ,066 sf. / 1,200 ppl rms. / 18 stes. 27,652 sf. / 1,650 ppl. 163 rms. / 11, sf rms. / 28 stes. 49,826 sf. / 1,345 ppl. 168 rms. / 1,200 ppl TOLUCA CIUDAD DE MÉXICO CAMINO REAL AEROPUERTO 600 rms. / 25 stes. COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT MEXICO CITY AIRPORT 288 rms KRYSTAL GRAND REFORMA 500 rms. / 46,876 sf. / 500 ppl. HACIENDA COCOYOC 286 rms. / 250 sf / / GUANAJUATO CAMINO REAL GUANAJUATO MORELIA BEST WESTERN CLUB GRAND HOTEL MORELIA MISIÓN QUERÉTARO JURIQUILLA Gran Turismo 196 rms. / 24,757 sf. / 2,000 ppl GRAN HOTEL PLAZA IMPERIAL 150 rms. / 3,500 ppl 4,036 sf. / 800 ppl CAMINO REAL POLANCO 712 rms. / 42 stes. 68,253 sf. / 2,000 ppl CROWNE PLAZA-HOTEL DE MÉXICO 310 rms. / 9 stes. 34,896 sf. / 700 ppl MEXICO CITY MARRIOTT, REFORMA HOTEL 322 rms 155 rms. / 17 stes. 5,643 sf. / 450 ppl REAL DE MINAS GUANAJUATO 253 rms. / 400 ppl PACHUCA HOLIDAY INN REAL DE MINAS TRADICIONAL 199 rms. / 17,761 sf. / 1,000 ppl SAN LUIS POTOSÍ VALLE DE BRAVO HOTEL MISIÓN GRAND VALLE DE BRAVO Gran Turismo 93 rms. / 500 ppl FIESTA INN AEROPUERTO 327 rms. / 25,962 sf. / 500 ppl. NH AEROPUERTO T2 MÉXICO 165 rms. / 20 stes. 17,222 sf. / 1,200 ppl 124 rms. / 16 stes. 3,444 sf. / 400 ppl HOLIDAY INN SAN LUIS POTOSÍ - QUIJOTE ZACATECAS EMPORIO ZACATECAS 287 rms IRAPUATO PUEBLA 208 rms. / 25 stes. 6,200 sf. / 800 ppl. 113 rms. / 120 ppl. FOUR SEASONS HOTEL MÉXICO 240 rms. / 40 stes. PRESIDENTE INTERCONTINENTAL MÉXICO POLANCO GUADALAJARA FIESTA AMERICANA GUADALAJARA HOTEL BEST WESTERN PLUS PLAZA FLORIDA & TOWER MARRIOTT PUEBLA MESÓN DEL ÁNGEL 192 rms. / 170 ppl 14,681 sf. / 500 ppl. Gran Turismo 144 rms. / 8 stes. / 500 ppl rms. 391 rms. / 41,460 sf. / 2,000 ppl HILTON MÉXICO CITY REFORMA ROYAL PEDREGAL Gran Turismo HILTON GUADALAJARA HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS & SUITES PRESIDENTE INTERCONTINENTAL PUEBLA Gran Turismo 456 rms. / 14,681 sf. / 500 ppl. 317 rms. 450 rms. / 36,599 sf. / 1,800 ppl. 143 rms. / 1,000 ppl. 200 rms. / 11 stes. / 240 ppl 68 69

36 PACIFIC COAST COASTAL CONFERENCES STATES OF GUERRERO, COLIMA, SINALOA, JALISCO AND NAYARIT. Endless beaches, jungle-clad mountains, seaside villages and glittering luxury resorts-mexico s Pacific Coast welcomes visitors with all this and a robust infrastructure that has made it a magnet for planners worldwide. STATE OF GUERRERO Acapulco Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo STATE OF COLIMA Manzanillo and Costalegre Region STATE OF SINALOA Mazatlan STATE OF JALISCO Puerto Vallarta STATE OF NAYARIT Riviera Nayarit STATE OF GUERRERO 3Acapulco The state of Guerrero s economy is driven by tourism, fueled by two of the country s most striking beach resorts: Acapulco and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. Acapulco s tourism and meetings infrastructure is receiving a strong injection of public and private funds. This polished gem is now welcoming an increasing number of business and leisure travelers enticed by its incomparable natural beauty, unique attractions and culinary scene. CLIMATE. Beach weather with average highs in the upper 80s (27º C) and low 90s (32º C), and lows in the 70s (21º C). Expect rain from May through September. The rainy season lasts from June through September; official Pacific hurricane season begins on May 15th and runs through November 30th, with maximum activity in September. HOW TO GET HERE. The Acapulco International Airport (ACA) has 7 international flights including a direct flight via Houston or Los Angeles, or you can fly into Mexico City and connect on a short onehour flight to the coast. Construction is ongoing on a new, eco-friendly, three-level terminal that will have the capacity to receive 1.3 million domestic and international passengers per year, with six boarding gates and three passenger jetways. The $30 million USD investment is expected to be complete by the second half of WHERE TO STAY. Acapulco s hotel infrastructure was made for meetings, with resorts ranging from the very large to the very boutique, with a wonderful selection of private villas for rent that can accommodate executive board meetings with ease and grace, not to mention stunning views of the bay. Expect Four- and Five-Diamond designations, with the accompanying levels of facilities and services. 71

37 72 PACIFIC COAST C M ACAPULCO Expo Mundo Imperial Centro Internacional Acapulco Princess Mundo Imperial Acapulco International Airport (ACA) Beach Golf Adventure Spa 15,597 Selene Salas / Meetings Director Abraham Garay / CEO ACAPULCO XTASEA Zip Line (2017) Pierre Mundo Imperial and Princess Mundo Imperial (renovation) (2017+) Tunnel connecting Golden and Diamond Zones (2017) New Airport Terminal (2018) Emocion Intensa Adventure Park (2019) The hotel zone in Acapulco has expanded from the traditional Golden Zone out closer to Punta Diamante, about 15 minutes away. This is home to exclusive cliff-side hotels as well as some of the larger, newer properties with meeting spaces ready to welcome attendees numbering in the thousands, as well as access to the locale s two golf courses. There are multi-million dollar investments currently underway in Punta Diamante that will include the opening of additional properties over the next three to five years. WHERE TO MEET. Expo Mundo Imperial: Located in the Mundo Imperial development in Punta Diamante, this venue is equipped with avantgarde technology and over 242,000 ft² (22,500 m²) of column-free exhibit space and 112,332 ft² (10,436 m²) of meetings and convention space, including 50 meeting rooms and the Forum, which can host up to 4,000 people. Princess Mundo Imperial: This 1,011-room hotel has one of the largest meeting spaces in Acapulco with over 21,500 ft² (2,000 m²) of space for events of up to 4,300 people and 21,700 ft² (2,016 m²) of space for expos. Off-site venues include the Fort of San Diego, the Tres Vidas championship golf course that can host events from 200 to 2,000 and a collection of mountainside villas with spectacular views such as Casa Arabesque and Casa del Mar, built especially to rent out for private events of up to 1,200 persons. There are also several large nightclubs tucked into the cliffs overlooking the bay that can be engaged for closing celebrations, awards ceremonies, and more. WHAT TO DO. Planners can team up with local DMC s to offer event attendees plenty of pre- and post-event activities in the deep-blue waters of Acapulco, which are perfect for water-skiing, jetskiing, windsurfing, snorkeling, diving, topnotch sports fishing and parasailing. There are plenty of activities beyond the beach as well, including eco-recreation at lagoons, national parks, and archaeological sites, plus outstanding golf, which always a hit with traveling executives. Acapulco can be divided into Playa Revolcadero/Punta Diamante; Puerto Marqués; and the area surrounding Acapulco Bay, home to the hotel Golden Zone (Zona Dorada). Closest to the airport, Playa Revolcadero/Punta Diamante hosts the city s most excellent golf courses (four); the high-end La Isla Shopping Village with movie theaters, department stores, restaurants and more; Forum Mundo Imperial, the country s premier performing arts venue; and five-star resorts with excellent meeting amenities. This area is currently experiencing a massive, multimillion-dollar development push, so planners can look forward to more hotels, golf, and attractions they can present to their clients over the next three to five years. Smaller than its neighbor, Puerto Marqués is another scenic wonder, growing to keep pace with demand for luxury properties. Group adventures can include the new XTSEA overwater zip line that spans the bay it s the longest of its kind in the world, and there are plans for another extreme adventure park (Emocion Intensa) on the way to keep in mind for event attendees who travel with their families. The magnificent Acapulco Bay and its Zona Dorada hotel zone are now a short three-minute ride from Punta Diamante thanks to the new Y CM MY CY CMY K

38 74 PACIFIC COAST THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 75 IXTAPA-ZIHUATANEJO Azul Ixtapa All-Inclusive Beach Resort and Convention Center Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport (ZIH) Beach Golf Spa 4,977 Pedro Castelán / Executive Director Jesús Gallegos / Strategic Planning Manager MacroTunel project that bypasses traffic on the two-lane coastal highway, making travel to and from the convention centers and attendee accommodations a breeze. The bulk of the area s hotels are on the Costera Avenue, as well as myriad seafood restaurants, cliff-side cafés, and glamorous nightclubs that will keep attendees busy after a long da of meetings. Pairing Acapulco with a visit to Taxco for a day-trip or stay is an excellent added value to any program held in this seaside destination. Only accessible by highway, the drive to this mountain town takes 2.5 hours from Acapulco by bus on first-class escorted group tours. Known the world over for its exquisite silver jewelry, this is one of the country s prettiest colonial towns, with winding cobblestone streets and tile-roofed buildings that tumble across a hillside and a lovely air of Spanish antiquity. 3Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Marketed as a dual destination, these two seaside towns together make up the largest city in the state of Guerrero, each with a very distinct personality. Tourism is the region s mainstay, followed by fishing and timber. CLIMATE. Tropical-read sunny and warm-with highs in the upper 80s (27º C) to high 90s (32º C) and lows from upper 60s (16º C) to high 70s (21º C). The rainy season lasts from June through mid- October; official Pacific hurricane season begins on May 15th and runs through November 30th, with maximum activity in September. HOW TO GET HERE. The Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport (ZIH) is busy with nonstop flights from Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Phoenix; you can also connect via Mexico City (MEX) on a quick one-hour flight. WHERE TO STAY. Ixtapa was purposefully developed as a tourist resort, so planners can expect larger high-rise hotels (mostly all-inclusive) facing the Pacific, with ample meeting facilities and open-air venues. Zihuatanejo s properties tend to be more of the upscale boutique style, with some perched on the craggy cliffs above the bay, offering guests stunning views and terraced restaurants. These cater to the boardroom crowd with cooking classes and tequila tastings, and the destination s exclusive brand of sunset cruises. WHERE TO MEET. Azul Ixtapa All-Inclusive Beach Resort and Convention Center: This is the largest hotel convention center on the Mexican Pacific coast, capable of accommodating up to 2,400 people in its 25,833 ft² (2,400 m²) of exhibit space and 51,979 ft² (5,829 m²) of flexible meeting space. Alternative venues include the Clubhouse at the Marina Ixtapa Golf Club with room for up to 125 people, or the traditional Coconuts Restaurant & Bar in a refurbished hacienda in Zihuatanejo. WHAT TO DO. Ixtapa has the nightlife that will attendees burn off some of that post-event stress at clubs that don t get going until midnight, not to mention golf at the Robert Trent Jones II Palma Real and Marina Ixtapa Golf Club, named one of the best golf courses in Mexico by Golf Digest. Charming Zihuatanejo has kept its traditional feel, and is located on a well-protected bay with calm beaches that are a favorite for relaxation. Program participants will benefit from an afternoon at Las Gatas beach, where they can spend time relaxing under the sun, enjoying the thatchedroof restaurants that offer drinks, fresh seafood and beachside lounge chairs for a taste of life in Zihuatanejo. As one of the third most-visited tourist destinations in Mexico, event planners will find plenty to keep their clients happy, including golf, adventure travel, sport-fishing, dolphin swims, kayak tours and more. STATE OF COLIMA 3Manzanillo and Costalegre Region The state of Colima is known for its limes, producing about half of the country s lime crop, and is second in the production of coconut meat and tuna. It also has one of the highest standards of living in Mexico, thanks to its robust economy boosted by agro-industry, forestry, fishing, mining, manufacturing, and commerce. About two thirds of the state s GDP is from commerce and services that include transportation and storage linked with the port of Manzanillo. Known as the Sailfish Capital of the World, Manzanillo s commercial downtown and bustling port Mexico s busiest and responsible for handling Pacific cargo for the Mexico City area vie for attention with its beaches and tourism infrastructure. The latter offers planners hotels, restaurants, golf courses, and other attractions with which they can create a complete and successful program for just about any client. Manzanillo is also the largest producing municipality for the business sector and tourism in Colima. Located past Manzanillo up the coast towards Puerto Vallarta, the Costalegre Corridor (the happy coast ) stretches along one of the most undeveloped stretches (though still very accessible by highway) of Mexico s Pacific shore. The nearly 150 miles of virgin beaches, capes and bays along the corridor are home to quaint seaside villages and swaths of jungle-covered mountains and is divided into six distinct zones: Bahia de Navidad, Bahia de Tenacatita, Costa Careyes, Bahia de Chamela, Costa Majahuas and Cabo Corrientes. It s also home to some of the country s most posh resort hideaways, which can be bought out for unforgettable boardroom-level meetings and incentive trips. CLIMATE. Colima is known for its great climate. Daily temperatures ranges from 75ºF (24ºC) in March, the coolest month, to 83ºF (28ºC) during the rainy season, which runs from June to October. Because of its proximity to the Sierra Madre, it has overall cooler temperatures than Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Ixtapa or Acapulco. Hurricane season is generally from mid-june through October; however, they have been few and far between. HOW TO GET HERE. The Manzanillo International Airport (ZLO) is located between Manzanillo and Barra de Navidad, and receives direct flights from Houston, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis (seasonal); you can also connect via Mexico City on a short 1.5-hour flight. WHERE TO STAY. Seaside golf resort properties are the biggest draw in Manzanillo, where large groups will find getting their work done in the modern meeting spaces is just as productive as hitting the greens. Planners will find a good selection of high-end, beachfront hotels with plenty of open-air event spaces and airconditioned halls. There are also a small handful of secluded, very upscale properties along the Costalegre Corridor mostly boutique-style with the exception of the larger golf resort on Isla Navidad. Because of their exclusivity and service, all of these are highly recommended for meetings and incentive programs for upper-level executives. WHERE TO MEET. Allegra Convention Center: This venue is the largest in the city, with six multifunction rooms that offer 10,387 ft² (965 m²) of MANZANILLO AND COSTALEGRE REGION Allegra Convention Center Manzanillo International Airport (ZLO) Beach Golf Eco-Tourism 3,800 (Manzanillo) Luis Enrique Aguirre / Director Sandra Alynn Sochryer / International Promotion Manager MANZANILLO AND COSTALEGRE REGION Chalacatepec Airport (Costalegre) (2018) Cheval Blanc Hotel (Costalegre) (2019) Zoetry Chamela Costalegre (2020) One&Only Santa Maria de Xala (Costalegre) (TBD) Four Seasons Tenacatita (Costalegre) (TBD)

39 76 PACIFIC COAST THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 77 dollar beautification program to welcome the Tianguis Turistico 2018, which included the expansion of the Mazatlan International Convention, helping to position Mazatlan as the fourth destination in Mexico that has an exhibition space of 194,000 ft² (18,000 m²). MAZATLAN Mazatlan International Center Mazatlan International Airport Beach Golf Colonial Culinary 6,000 José Alberto Ureña / CEO Jorge Daniel Cornejo / Sales General Manager MAZATLAN Holiday Inn Mazatlan (2017) Ibis Hotel (2017) Pacific Palace Beach Tower Hotel (2017) Radisson Park Inn (2017) The Inn at Centro Historico (2017) Sleep Inn Mazatlan (expansion) (2018) The Inn at Mazatlan (renovation) (2018) Holiday Inn Express Mazatlan Marina (2018) Pacific Sands (2018) Mazatlan Museum (2018) Playa Espiritu (Phase 1) (2018) Courtyard By Marriott (2019) Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan Beach Resort (renovation and expansion) (2019) expo space and 6,382 ft² (593 m²) of carpeted, air-conditioned meeting space with professional audio-visual, catering, security, and equipment services. WHAT TO DO. One of the country s leading ports, Manzanillo is also known as one of the country s less-developed destinations and a magnet for planners seeking something new and different for their signature events. Beyond the bustle of the port, the city has a charming, picturesque side, and is a very Mexican town, giving program attendees a feel for the real Mexico while providing the infrastructure needed for a successful meeting or event. The mile-long boardwalk at Miramar beach with its local marketplace for seashell crafts and more is a great place for pre- or post-event tours. Local DMCs can help planners organize their groups to explore the historic downtown and its well-preserved colonial buildings on foot, perhaps followed by dinner at an open-air restaurant by the water to sample some of the local seafood dishes. Beloved by sport fishermen, the marina and fleet are excellent and charters are very easy to book-planners might want to consider organizing friendly tournaments for their programs. From November through March, the ocean waters teem with sailfish, giant tuna, snapper, mahimahi, sea bass and yellowtail, and every year there are two major tournaments in November and January, including one of the longest running sport fishing tournaments in the country. Other waters sports are plentiful as well, and attendees and their families can take advantage of the miles of wide, uncrowded beaches spread out over the bay, including paddle boarding, surfing, sailing, diving and snorkeling the rocky, coral-encrusted shoreline. The Palo Verde Estuary provides amazing natural sceneries for eco-minded programs with bird watching and abundant wildlife. The is also home to the Tortugario, a sanctuary that preserves sea turtle species and where groups can participate in the conservation by freeing them back to the ocean. Planners looking for more of a private, exclusive getaway for top-level executives or incentive programs will want to look north of Manzanillo up Highway 200 to the Costalegre Corridor and its very upscale resorts. After about an hour on the road, Isla Navidad awaits with a Gold Medal 27-hole course, a 700-slip marina, and one of the largest resorts along that particular stretch of road. Further up, boutique luxury, ultra privacy, and white-glove service are tucked between very untamed stretches of coast. The main highway was recently extended and modernized, and there are additional plans that will open the destination even more. Among them is an airport in the Chalacatepec area for both private and commercial planes can bring clients in to the handful of other forward looking, mega luxury projects, including three new hotels and an 18-hole golf course. STATE OF SINALOA 3Mazatlan Sinaloa is known as the most prominent state in Mexico in terms of agriculture; other main economic activities include livestock breeding, commerce, industry and fishing with the second largest fishing fleet in the country. Famous for its shrimping industry, Mazatlan is also dependent on tourism, beer brewing, coffee and its tuna processing plant, the largest in Latin America. The city has undergone a recent multimillion- CLIMATE. Very humid and warm, with plenty of sunny days. Temps average from lows in the upper 60s (16ºC) to highs in the lower 80s (27ºC). The climate pleasant from November through May, and hot and humid from June through September, with a fairly intense rainy season between July and September. HOW TO GET HERE. The Mazatlan International Airport (MZT) welcomed nearly one million passengers in 2017, and receives nonstop flights from Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Phoenix, with several new flights being added just this past year. WHERE TO STAY. One of Mazatlan s biggest attractions is its excellent value for money spent: planners will find their budgets buy more here without sacrificing quality of service or infrastructure, and the seaside city s very Mexican feel only adds to it. Mazatlan s recently renovated Golden Zone is home to most of the destination s hotels, a coveted area thanks to its proximity to the city s historic district. New brands have entered the destination, and there are several brand new hotels and a few others in the works. Planners should also consider the area of New Mazatlan, just 15 minutes from the Mazatlan International Center, and its cluster of upscale properties, mostly all-inclusive. The city also has several boutique properties tucked away in its colonial downtown area, perfect for boardroom retreats. Keep an eye on the Playa Espiritu development some 50 miles south of Mazatlan, which is slated to have another 100 hotels for a total of 44,000 rooms in the upcoming years. WHERE TO MEET. Mazatlan International Center: This is the area s largest venue and has undergone recent renovations and expansions in preparation for the Tianguis Turistico 2018, Mexico s largest tourism travel trade show. The Center now has a new parking structure and an adjoining building that adds another 161,459 ft² (15,000 m²). The original 28 rooms and seven business centers with 47,070 ft² (4,373 m²) of expo space and 61,935 ft² (5,754 m²) of meeting space have been expanded with an additional 21,528 ft² (2,000 m²) of exhibition space along with 32,292 ft² (3,000 m²) of upstairs area dedicated to show. Off-site venues include Old Mazatlan s Plaza Machado, as well as in the beautifully restored Angela Peralta Theater with more than 800 seats and galleries for art exhibits. WHAT TO DO. Known as the Only Colonial City on the Beach in Mexico, Mazatlan has burnished its historic city center even further, investing and restoring its gorgeous French-, Italian- and German-influenced architecture, making it a focus of pre- and post-event activity for event attendees. The investment also refurbished the Angela Peralta Theater, home of the opera and Broadway performances, and the adjacent Cultural Center. The city s 13-mile (21-kilometer) oceanside promenade, the Malecon, as expanded and updated with a new bike path, new lighting and new seating. Groups will enjoy guided visits to the famous Mercado Pino Suarez, originally built in 1890, which recently received a facelift, as well as a sunset show watching the famous cliff divers. Sport fishing off the waters of Mazatlan is world-renowned, and the home fleet is famous for its shrimp boats-a hint of what the local cuisine has to offer. There are myriad restaurants highlighting the area gastronomy or even very fine haute cuisine that welcome groups for cocktails and dinners, many of them in the beautiful historic center. A series of tours have also been put together take a closer look at the beverage angle, including one to the 130-yearold Los Osuna Blue Agave tequila distillery and plantation, and another to the Pacífico Brewery, the birthplace of the ubiquitous Pacifico pilsner created by German immigrants. Consult local DMCs to take groups on unforgettable certified whale-watching tours led by oceanographers, biologists and naturalists; a Swim with the Dolphins in the Wild is also available for event attendees and their families. Back on shore, the El Verde Sea Turtle Conservation Center helps newly hatched turtles make their way out into the waves an ecological addition to any program that will practically ensure its success.

40 78 PACIFIC COAST THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 79 Beyond the city limits, groups will enjoy a pre- or post-event afternoon at El Mesón de los Laureanos in the town of El Quelite, where they can see cooks making fresh tortillas and eat under thatched palapas to live music. Other inland villages like Concordia, Copala, and Cosalá-all founded in the 16th century-are also a relatively short drive from the Golden Zone, and another value-added detail for any Mazatlan program. STATE OF JALISCO 3Puerto Vallarta The coast of the state of Jalisco is tourism central, with Puerto Vallarta as its shining star. This seaside resort is on the top-ten list of most important cities for MICE thanks to its airlift, climate, infrastructure, professional certifications, meetings capacity and its ultra-modern International Convention Center. CLIMATE. Sunny, humid and warm, with dry winters: the hottest month is June with an average in the low 80s (27ºC); the coolest month is January with temps in the low 70s (21ºC). The rainy season lasts from mid-june through mid- October; official Pacific hurricane season begins on May 15th and runs through November 30th, with maximum activity in September. However, Puerto Vallarta has been relatively free of big storms as compared to the Mexican Caribbean. HOW TO GET HERE. The recently renovated Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR) handles over 4 million passengers per year-by late 2016, the number of international passengers alone had increased by 10.9% over the previous year. It receives over 1,279 international flights. Currently it receives nonstop flights from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Newark, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Ana (California), and Seattle. WHERE TO STAY. Puerto Vallarta s hotel offer is unique in that planners will find not only excellent beachfront properties, but also a handful of exquisite colonial-style boutique hotels tucked away along the cobblestone streets of the historic city center-many with ocean views and a topnotch choice for C-suite meetings. Most of the larger, five-star resorts-a good number of which subscribe to the all-inclusive modality-are located along the stunning Banderas Bay and in the exclusive Marina Vallarta district. Larger properties have full-service on-site meeting facilities and even stand-alone convention centers with all the modern amenities meeting planners and their clients demand. There are over 27 properties specializing in the meetings industry that together offer more than 129,167 ft² (12,000 m²) of event space. WHERE TO MEET. Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center: The center s Exhibition Hall has 53,819 ft² (5,000 m²) of indoor columnfree space with the flexibility of dividing into 8 breakout rooms and the capacity for up to 5,500 attendees, with an additional 247,570 ft² (23,000 m²) in outside space suitable for events. Sheraton Buganvilias Resort and Convention Center: This state-of-the art center in this recently renovated resort has 17 meeting spaces, the largest offering 7,912 ft² ( m²) of space. There are also dedicated outdoor areas for stellar seaside evening events. WHAT TO DO. Puerto Vallarta s lively malecón, or boardwalk, is a wide pedestrian zone that stretches alongside the beach for 12 blocks with giant sculptures every few hundred feet, galleries, shops, restaurants, bars, and boutiques-a big attraction for attendees of the city s many international events. The area known as Old Vallarta, just south of the Cuale River and the malecón is quaintly colonial and has its own selection of restaurants, bars and cafés. A top attraction is Playa Los Muertos, perfect for people watching, a good swim and a cold beer after a long meeting; groups will also enjoy the local Rhythms of the Night cruise that comes with a beachside dinner and torch-lit show organized by Vallarta Adventures, the newest of which is, Savia: The Legend of the 5 Suns. This outfitter also owns the only indoor skydiving simulator in Mexico, The Flight. Dine-arounds are a great option to take advantage of Puerto Vallarta s excellent selection of restaurants-in fact in November the city is taken over by the International Gourmet Festival, when Vallarta s chefs and guest chefs from around the world showcase local and international cuisine. Consider booking groups on a new gastronomic Tour of the Sierra in San Sebastian del Oeste, or a visit to the recently opened Hacienda Tres Carmelitas and its Experimental Cantina for a unique look at local drink and food. The Vallarta Theater and its show, Viva Tequila, a roundup of Tequila, mariachis and charros, or Mexican cowboys, include an interactive tour through the Tequila Museum and its amazing collection of Tequila brands, plus a ride aboard the Tequila Trolley, a tasting, a mariachi band and a show for groups of up to 1,000. The Puerto Vallarta CVB has also begun the Mexico Sunset Route tour and the Estampas de México tour, which highlights the culture, art, history and tradition of Mexico and Jalisco; both are free of charge. Planners can contact local DMC outfitters to help plan outdoor activities for their clients in the Bay of Banderas and the Sierra Madre mountains, which include snorkeling, diving, sailing horseback riding, ATV, hiking, rappelling, and zip-lining, to name a few. One of the newest adrenaline rushes is a walk across the Jorullo Bridge at Canopy River, the longest hanging bridge in Latin America. There are also sport-fishing fleets in the port ready for anglers to try their luck in catching big game such as marlin, sailfish and other species, while underwater exploration at the Los Arcos rock formations would also be a welcome addition to programs. Eco-adventures include seasonal whale watching and turtle hatchling release, as well as visits to nearby ecological reserves. And while it s neither a a fishing boat or a whale-watching skiff, the Marigalante is nonetheless a big hit with groups: this recently renovated pirate ship plies the waters of Banderas Bay with food and drink aboard, as well as a new show. Puerto Vallarta is also a world-class golf destination, with challenging championship greens and golf academies where planners can organize games and/or friendly tournaments to add to their programs. STATE OF NAYARIT 3Riviera Nayarit Stretching from the historic port of San Blas to Nuevo Vallarta in the state of Nayarit, this coastal region known as the Riviera Nayarit is home to some of the most luxurious beach developments in Mexico. It has built a reputation as an excellent host for upscale meetings and events especially in the area of Punta de Mita, thanks to the modern facilities at its award-winning resorts, its world-renowned service, and fantastic array of incentive opportunities. Nayarit itself is predominantly an agricultural state, but with its significant share of coastline on the Pacific Ocean, it s no surprise fishing and tourism are both high on its economic agenda. CLIMATE. Sunny, humid and warm, with dry winters: the hottest month is June with an average in the low 80s (27ºC); the coolest month is January with temps in the low 70s (21ºC). The rainy season lasts from mid-june through mid- October; official Pacific hurricane season begins on May 15th and runs through November 30th, with maximum activity in September. However, this area has been relatively free of big storms as compared to the Mexican Caribbean. HOW TO GET HERE. Fly directly into the Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR) then drive to your destination within the Riviera Nayarit, anywhere from 15- to 60-minutes away. This recently renovated airport handles over 4 million passengers per year-by late 2016, the number of international passengers alone had increased by 10.9% over the previous year. It receives over 1,279 international flights. Currently it receives nonstop flights from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Newark, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Ana (California), and Seattle. PUERTO VALLARTA Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR) Beach Golf Colonial Culinary Ecotourism 5,916 Miguel Andrés Hernández / CEO PUERTO VALLARTA Fiesta Inn Puerto Vallarta Isla (2017) City Express Puerto Vallarta (2017) Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center (renovation) (2017) Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All- Inclusive & Spa (renovation) (2017) Barcelo Puerto Vallarta (renovation) (2017) Friendly Vallarta (renovation) (2017) Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa (renovation) (2017 / 2018) Hotel Amapa (2018) The Hacienda at Hilton (Hilton Puerto Vallarta) (2018) Puerto Vallarta Aquarium - PV Port Authority (2018) Puerto Vallarta Maritime Terminal (enovation and modernization) (2018) Hacienda Tequilera (2018) Hacienda Tres Carmelitas (2018)

41 80 PACIFIC COAST HOTELS This list includes some of the top properties suitable for the MICE market; for a more comprehensive list of destination hotels please visit AZUL IXTAPA GRAND Gran Turismo 323 rms. / 2,200 ppl OCCIDENTAL GRAND NUEVO VALLARTA 274 rms. / 2,938 sf. PUERTO VALLARTA BARCELÓ PUERTO VALLARTA rms. / 6,600 sf. / 600 ppl. ACAPULCO CROWNE PLAZA 506 rms. / 1,200 ppl BARCELÓ IXTAPA BEACH 398 rms. / 400 ppl LAS BRISAS IXTAPA RIU VALLARTA 550 rms. / 25,112 sf VIDANTA NUEVO VALLARTA CASAMAGNA MARRIOTT PUERTO VALLARTA RESORT & SPA 433 rms. / 4,763 sf. / 600 ppl RIVIERA NAYARIT Grand Vidanta Convention Center Sanctuary Convention Center Krystal Grand Nuevo Vallarta Convention Center Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR) Beach Golf Culinary Eco-tourism 9,200 Marc Murphy / CEO Silvia Duarte / Events Manager RIVIERA NAYARIT W Punta de Mita (2017) The Lakes Golf Course at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta (2017) Grand Luxxe Tower 5 & Quinto (2017) Grand Vidanta Convention Center (2017) Krystal Grand Nuevo Vallarta (2018) Krystal Grand Convention Center (2018) Cirque du Soleil Theme Park / The Grand Mayan (2018) Fairmont Costa Canuva (2018) Rosewood Mandarina (2019) Conrad Playa Mita (2019) One&Only Santa María de Xala (TBD) WHERE TO STAY. Over half of the hotel rooms offered along the coast of the Riviera Nayarit are upscale luxury product, and together they offer more than 81,000 ft² of state-of-the-art meeting facilities and flexible space as well as trained meetings professionals ready to assist any size event. The Riviera Nayarit itself is a Virtuoso Preferred Destination. Some of the country s most luxurious properties can be found in Punta de Mita, including five-star and Five-Diamond resorts; in Nuevo Vallarta, Four- and Five-Diamond properties shine brightly, with thousands of square feet of space in superb locations; others are located beachfront in the towns of Flamingos, Costa Banderas, and Bucerias. The all-inclusive modality is raised to new heights in this destination, receiving kudos in everything from their white-glove service to accommodations and certainly cuisine. The area is, in fact, known for its gastronomy. There are also a number of upscale boutique properties that promise the exclusivity and privacy cherished by top executives. WHERE TO MEET. Grand Vidanta Convention Center: This brand new convention center has 32,378 ft² (3008 m²) of space including four main salons, as well as separate meeting rooms, a foyer, cold and hot kitchens as well as a variety of other event areas. It can accommodate over 2,400 guests across its flexible spaces. Each area comes equipped with high-speed Internet, streaming audio, and video capabilities; the center also has a dedicated service team of caterers, event planners, and technology experts to lend support for every event. Sanctuary Convention Center: With 12,900 ft² (1,198 m²) of flexible space, this facility is equipped with the lasts technology and can hold over 1,500 people for conventions, seminars, banquets, and concerts. Its décor was inspired by record label and recording studio, Sanctuary Records Group, and features artwork and memorabilia honoring iconic musicians. Krystal Grand Nuevo Vallarta Convention Center: Newly opened in 2018 in the Flamingos area, 15,069 ft2 (1,400 m2) of indoor meeting room space in its Gran Salon Flamingos, a flexible, multifunction space that can be configured to host up to 1,500 attendees, with state-of-the-art audiovisual services, professional staff, catering, high-speed WiFi and more. Alternative venues can be found in several of the area s micro-destinations, including the Entreamigos Cultural Center in San Pancho, a 16,000- ft² (1,486 m²) community center that includes multi-use gallery, conference and classroom space, as well as a café. WHAT TO DO. The Riviera Nayarit is known for its natural beauty and its colorful cultural offerings, and has an array of activities to augment any incentive program, spouse program, and preand post-convention tours, as well as venues for gala events. Its beaches are perfect for surfing, snorkeling, diving, or sailing, and there is plenty of adventure tourism including ATV motorcycle tours, zipline adventures, mountain bike excursions, 4X4 jungle tours and more. Eco-pursuits include whale watching, tours through bird sanctuaries, and freeing turtle hatchings in season. Activities also include indigenous Huichol culture experiences, spa days, deep-sea fishing, chef demos of local cuisine, polo at its La Patrona Polo & Equestrian Club (an excellent for intimate cocktail receptions or award ceremonies), and spa days. The region also has a well-deserved reputation as a culinary destination with an excellent range of restaurants that highlight both local cuisine and international dishes. It also holds events year-round that you could coincide with your group events, including the top-rated American Express Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic held every winter and the International Sport Fishing Tournament in San Blas. The Riviera Nayarit is also positioned as one of the best golf destinations in Mexico, with designs by famous names including Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Jim Lipe, Robert Von Hagge & Baril and Percy Clifford. GRAN HOTEL ACAPULCO 573 rms. / 900 ppl PRINCESS MUNDO IMPERIAL 1,011 rms. / 2,200 ppl RESORT MUNDO IMPERIAL 814 rms. / 20,000 ppl COLIMA HOTEL GRAND ISLA NAVIDAD 158 rms. / 41 stes. 17,329 sf. / 700 ppl HOTEL TESORO MANZANILLO 331 rms. / 43 stes. 9,780 sf. / 800 ppl IXTAPA-ZIHUATANEJO AZUL IXTAPA 412 rms. / 2,200 ppl 416 rms. / 1,500 ppl MAZATLÁN EL CID CASTILLA BEACH 388 rms. / 10,000 sf EL CID EL MORO BEACH 250 rms. / 10,000 sf PUEBLO BONITO EMERALD BAY 385 stes. / 7,000 sf RIU EMERALD BAY 716 rms. / 10,333 sf NUEVO VALLARTA GRAND VELAS RIVIERA NAYARIT Gran Turismo 267 rms. / 268 stes. / 32,000 ppl HARD ROCK HOTEL VALLARTA 348 rms. / 1,800 sf 939 rms. / 32,377 sf. DREAMS VILLAMAGNA NUEVA VALLARTA 229 rms. / 6,652 sf MARIVAL RESORT & SUITES 495 rms. / 121 stes. / 7,740 sf PUNTA MITA IBEROSTAR PLAYA MITA 452 rms. / 7,050 sf FOUR SEASONS PUNTA MITA 177 rms. / 30 stes. / 530 sf TAXCO HOTEL MONTETAXCO 156 rms. / 860 ppl HOTEL POSADA DE LA MISIÓN Especial / 129 rms. / 1,050 ppl MELIA PUERTO VALLARTA 318 rms. / 261 sf. / 600 ppl NOW AMBER & SECRETS PUERTO VALLARTA 327 rms. / 6,138 sf. / 870 ppl SHERATON BUGAMVILIAS RESORT & CONV. CENTER 473 rms. / 25,503 sf. / 1,200 ppl THE WESTIN RESORT & SPA PUERTO VALLARTA 280 rms. / 17, sf. / 650 ppl VELAS VALLARTA 268 stes. / 16,167 sf. / 900 ppl 81

42 GULF GULF COAST MEETINGS STATES OF TAMAULIPAS, VERACRUZ AND TABASCO. These states lie along the shores of the rich Gulf of Mexico and combine an excellent infrastructure for meetings and events with adventure travel, ecotourism, culture, and history. STATE OF TAMAULIPAS Tampico STATE OF VERACRUZ Veracruz Boca del Rio STATE OF TABASCO Villahermosa STATE OF TAMAULIPAS 3Tampico The state of Tamaulipas boasts six separate economic zones, which power a booming exportoriented manufacturing sector based on maquiladoras in the north and a strong petrochemical industry in the south, as well as fishing and commercial shipping in its two main ports. Once the chief oil-exporting port of the Americas, after the oil boom was over the city of Tampico continued to develop well in the aviation and soda sectors, as well as exports of silver, copper, lumber and other products (it s important to note that an onshore Super Basin has recently been identified, which may yet bring back its oil-exporting status.) Its port is very modern with excellent facilities; across time, this dynamic Gulf-side city has welcomed many interesting waves of immigrants that have left their mark in its gastronomy, architecture, and traditions. Business tourism may be tops in Tampico, but it also offers beautiful beaches that stretch out along the Gulf of Mexico. CLIMATE. Average temperatures are around 76º (24ºC) to 82ºF (28ºC), generally warm and humid. The highest average monthly rainfall occurs in August and September. HOW TO GET HERE. The Tampico International Airport (TAM) receives daily direct flights from Houston-Intercontinental; you can also fly into Mexico City, Guadalajara or Monterrey and connect on a short 30-minute flight. WHERE TO STAY. The international flavor of its business culture has brought to town a good number of modern brands well known to planners across the United States, as well as a handful of upscale local properties with business centers and meeting rooms. Look for seaside 83

43 THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 85 accommodations as well for gorgeous views and proximity to the golf course. WHERE TO MEET. ExpoTampico: These modern facilities can welcome conventions of up to 8,000 attendees with 96,875 ft² (9,000 m²) of expo space and 27,878 ft² (2,590 m²) of meetings and convention space. It s located inside a complex that includes the Metropolitan Cultural Space, also known as METRO, divided into several sections including a theater for up to 1,100 people; 10,763 ft² (1,000 m²) of exhibit space in the gallery; and room for 320 people in its Experimental Theater. WHAT TO DO. Tampico s oil profits were richly invested in its famous architecture, which has been compared to that of New Orleans. Groups will enjoy walks back in time through this eclectic historical center and its Art Nouveau buildings, a perfect base of operations from which to explore the nearby Las Flores Pyramid, an excellent example of the ancient Huasteca Culture. Excursions can be organized to liberate turtles at Playa Miramar (in season) and delight in the cuisine of Altamira, head out to the Magical Town of Tula (founded in the the 17th century), or enjoy water sports on Chairel Lagoon. Groups of up to 100 can also board the tour boats at Colonia Morelos that will take them on a three-hour tour of the Panuco River, which crosses through Tampico and Madero City. STATE OF VERACRUZ 3Veracruz and Boca del Rio Agriculture, forestry and fishing have been Veracruz state s primary economic sectors thanks to its rich soil and abundant rainfall, followed by livestock raising and a large fishing industry. The country is very rich in natural resources and an important component in Mexico s economy, with oil and its related chemical and petrochemical sectors as its top resource. The port of Veracruz known locally as Puerto to differentiate it from the state is the core of the latter s economy, and also famous for its nightlife and spacious colonial downtown area, as well as its yearly carnival. This is the country s main commercial port. CLIMATE. Generally warm and humid, with average temperatures around 76º (24ºC) to 82ºF (28ºC) and plenty of rain in August and September. Hurricane season is officially from April to November. HOW TO GET HERE. The Veracruz International Airport (VER) finished its most recent expansion in 2017 to accommodate the 50% increase in passengers that took place between 2012 and 2016; it is also slated for a Master Planned remodel beginning in 2019, including a new building and new gates. It offers 38 direct international flights including one from Houston; you can also connect direct from Mexico City (one-hour flight) or Guadalajara (1.5 hours). WHERE TO STAY. Planners looking for proximity to the World Trade Center will find several top tier options from international brands as well as well-known Mexican hotel chains, all with meetings facilities and even convention centers for larger groups (according to the local CVB, there are some 2,300 rooms to choose from in this area alone!) The colonial city center offers historic buildings with modern comforts, and there are excellent options by the water s edge as well. WHERE TO MEET. Veracruz World Trade Center: Located in Boca del Río, this venue offers a total of 133,580 ft² (12,410 m²) of expo, meetings and convention space, direct access to the largest shopping mall in the region, an IMAX cinema and a five-star hotel. Alternative venues include the beautifully restored historical buildings such as the Ataranzas, with an outdoor terrace and an indoor area with a capacity for 200 people, and the ancient San Juan de Ulua Fortress, one of the largest and most spectacular alternative venues, has a central yard that can hold up to 4,000 people. WHAT TO DO. Veracruz is known on the one hand for its cuisine, its culture and the Carnaval de Veracruz held every February, second only to Rio de Janeiro s, and on the other for its excellent eco-tourism and adventure activities. Attendees will enjoy walks through the vibrant colonial downtown, where they can join the local music-lovers and dancers to the Plaza de Armas for the danzón on Sunday afternoons and the sounds of the marimba. Its artisan markets are great for take-home souvenirs, and planners are encouraged to mention the frothy lechero coffee at Gran Café de la Parroquia to their clients. Tourist trolleys can be rented out for groups for tours of the historic center, which include a stop at Los Portales, home to many local restaurants and their distinctive Veracruzan cuisine (a mix of Spanish, Caribbean and African influences). The city also has a magnificent aquarium the largest in Latin America and two golf courses: Punta Tiburon and La Villa Rica. Pre- or post-event trips can be arranged to Los Tuxtlas nature reserve, the lakeside village of Catemaco, the Nanciyaga eco-reserve, and the archaeological ruins of El Tajin. High-impact team-building programs are big in Veracruz, taking full advantage of its lush natural beauty that takes them into the jungle, rappelling, hiking, white-water rafting down the Filobobos River and its waterfalls, and more. These can be daytrips to multi-day adventures with motivational training in camps such as SelvAzul, Different or Expediciones Mexico Verde. The pristine beaches hugging the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the north of the city can be a valuable add-on to any trip. Dotted with seaside restaurants for toes-in-the-sand meals, they bring the perfect closure to a successful convention. TAMPICO Expo Tampico Tampico International Airport (TAM) Colonial Eco-Tourism Hunting and Fishing Beach 1,550 Karime Cámara / Promotion Manager Francisco Vallejo Castellanos / CEO VERACRUZ AND BOCA DEL RIO World Trade Center Veracruz (Boca del Rio) Veracruz International Airport (VER) Colonial Eco-Tourism Adventure Historic Beach 5,000 Patricia Carranza de la Parra / Promotion Manager VERACRUZ AND BOCA DEL RIO DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Veracruz (2016) Aloft Veracruz (2017)

44 HOTELS THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 87 This list includes some of the top properties suitable for the MICE market; for a more comprehensive list of destination hotels please visit TAMPICO TAMPICO CLUB MAEVA MIRAMAR 201 rms. / 800 ppl. STATE OF TABASCO 3Villahermosa The small state of Tabasco is considered the doorway to the Mundo Maya, supplementing the revenue from oil-rich lands with tourism. The capital city of Villahermosa combines an excellent quality of life with a dynamic oil industry, which has earned it the title of Energy City of Mexico. CLIMATE. Tabasco is hot and tropical, with highs between the mid-80s (27ºC) and the mid-90s (32ºC); the coolest month is January with average temperatures of 77.4ºF (25.2ºC). Peak rainy season is June through September, though it rains during most of the year. HOW TO GET HERE. The Villahermosa International Airport (VSA) transports over 1.2 million passengers a year and is the 14th busiest airport in the nation. It receives nonstop flights from Houston Intercontinental, but travelers can also connect via a short flight from Mexico City or Monterrey. WHERE TO STAY. The city s hotel infrastructure is set up to welcome oil industry executives, so planners will find a fine selection of top-notch business hotels as well as AAA-Diamond-rated properties, all with meetings facilities and services on-site, as well as a handful of restored and updated historic properties offering a unique alternative ambiance for events. WHERE TO MEET. Tabasco 2000 Convention Center: This center a capacity for up to 3,000 individuals with more than 46,790 ft² (3,286 m²) of space for expos, conventions and meetings. Tabasco Park: This venue is 30 minutes from the airport, has 7 indoor and outdoor spaces to accommodate up to 9,500 people in its 69,965 ft² (6,500 m²) of expo and meetings space. Alternative venues include the Planetarium, the House on the Lagoon, and the Villahermosa Cultural Center. WHAT TO DO. Villahermosa is a superb base of operations for archaeological expeditions, which can be arranged as post-meeting excursions or day trips. La Venta, for example, is an open-air park about an hour and a half from the city, and boasts a collection of giant Olmec heads and artifacts (the most important in Mexico), and an excellent anthropology museum. Group tours can also be organized to the Palenque archaeological zone in nearby Chiapas or the Mayan ruins at Comalcalco, paired with a visit to the cocoa plantations for a chocolate tour. The Sierra Route offers groups looking for adventure plenty of caving, rappelling and hiking in the Villa Luz eco-reserve, complemented by soothing dips in hot springs or cool waterfalls. VILLAHERMOSA Tabasco 2000 Convention Center Parque Tabasco Villahermosa International Airport (VSA) Colonial Archaeological Eco-Tourism 2,343 Jorge Lerma Nava / CEO Guadalupe García / Director of Operations VILLAHERMOSA HILTON VILLAHERMOSA & CONFERENCE CENTER VERACRUZ BOCA DEL RIO Gran Turismo 220 rms. / 2, sf. EMPORIO VERACRUZ 223 rms. / 550 ppl. HYATT REGENCY VILLAHERMOSA 207 rms. / 1, sf FIESTA AMERICANA VERACRUZ 233 rms. / 500 ppl MARRIOT 267 rms. / 15,909 sf LAS BRISAS HOTEL COLLECTION vsamc-villahermosa-marriott-hotel 235 rms. / 23 stes. 1,700 ppl NOVO MAR HOTEL 227 rms. / 23,715 sf 86

45 SOUTH FROM THE HIGHLANDS TO THE SHORE STATES OF OAXACA AND CHIAPAS. The states of Oaxaca (wah-ha-ka) and Chiapas in the southern region of Mexico, are known for the cultural diversity of their indigenous populations and their magnificent landscapes. Both are also excellent alternative meetings destinations for planners seeking an off-the-beaten path location for conventions, events, or one-of-a-kind incentive programs. STATE OF OAXACA Oaxaca Huatulco Puerto Escondido STATE OF CHIAPAS San Cristobal de las Casas Tuxtla Gutierrez STATE OF OAXACA 3Oaxaca The state of Oaxaca (wah-ha-ka) lies on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the narrow waist of Mexico. This state s rich flatlands have created an economy based on agriculture mainly coffee, beans, and corn as well as cattle, with some mining, oil, and gas refineries. Tourism accounts for about 30% of the commerce sector, thanks to the colonial beauty of the city of Oaxaca and the states stunning coastline. CLIMATE. Warm days range from low 80s (27ºC) to low 90s (32ºC) and lows can drop to high 40s (4ºC). Rain falls mainly during the summer months. HOW TO GET HERE. The Oaxaca International Airport (OAX) receives direct flights from Houston-Intercontinental and Los Angeles; you can also fly into Mexico City and connect with a one-hour flight. Though it only has one terminal, in 2017 it handled over 860 thousand passengers. WHERE TO STAY. Lodging in Oaxaca offers a range of accommodations, but planners will find the more popular spots fill up early, especially during the holidays such as the Day of the Dead celebration in early November. The hotels mix of history and modernity are a big part of the appeal, with many accommodations housed in beautifully restored colonial buildings (think haciendas and even convents) offering excellent business services as well as unusual event spaces, perfect for smaller groups. WHERE TO MEET. Monte Alban Convention Center: The largest in Oaxaca with a capacity for over 3,000 people, and is adjacent to the Alvaro Carrillo Theater, which can sit up to 1,100 people. Alternative venues with a colonial backdrop include the Macedonio Alcala Theater, with 89

46 90 SOUTH THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 91 OAXACA Monte Alban Exposition Center Oaxaca International Airport (OAX) Colonial Culinary 1,474 Mariel López Martínez / CEO Alan Ramos Ortíz / Managing Director OAXACA Grand Fiesta Americana Oaxaca (2018) 1,668 ft² (155 m²) of space for up to 150 people; the former Government Palace now Universum Palace Museum with room for events up to 1,200 people, and the State Museum of Popular Art, with a 4,300 ft² (400 m²) central patio and a 2,153 ft² (200 m²) terrace. Outdoors events for up to 500 people can also be organized at the Ethnobotanical Gardens, part of the Santo Domingo Cultural Center. WHAT TO DO. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Oaxaca s sizeable historical town center retains an authentic colonial-era presence along with a culture that embraces the indigenous people of the area. Its clean streets reflect the exquisite, baroque colonial architecture of the 16th century, with an astonishing cathedral and perfectly preserved religious and municipal buildings, excellent museums, and unique art galleries-great venues for pre- and post-meeting events and cocktails. Keep in mind the city celebrates several festivals throughout the year, such as the famous Guelaguetza in July. This particular celebration of music, dance, and indigenous culture can, in fact, be replicated in a more private setting for groups throughout the year. Planners can tap local DMCs for hosted group tours of the city, which can mainly be explored on foot as it has many parks and café s available to sit, rest and soak up the culture. The food in Oaxaca is world-renowned, utilizing many spices and recipes that are a combination of pre- Hispanic traditions and the elaborate concoctions of the colonial table that can be incorporated into memorable luncheons and dinners for event attendees. Known as the Land of the Seven Moles, every dish is a work of art. The city is also a significant folk art center, particularly in textiles. Group visits to open-air and indoor markets offer a wide variety and the best prices for event attendees to take home souvenirs, though much of the work is produced in the small surrounding villages. These make for fun pre- or post-event day-trips to buy goods directly from the artisans: for example, San Bartolo Coyotepec for black pottery, San Martín Tilcajete for the famous alebrijes (colorful handcarved fantasy animals) and Teotitlán del Valle for Zapotec textiles. The region to the south and the west of Oaxaca City was an important cultural and historical center since the 7th century B.C. The ruins of Monte Albán, Mitla, and Yagul all UNESCO World Heritage Sites stand in mute testimony to the origins of the Mixtec and Zapotec cultures and can form an integral part of an incentive program or a post-event tour. 3Huatulco and Puerto Escondido Huatulco, the first sustainable community in the Americas to be recognized with a Platinum Certification by EarthCheck, has been developed to be a major resort by the Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo (FONATUR), and offers the meeting planner interested in green meetings idyllic beaches, upscale resorts with modern meeting spaces, golf, and DMC-hosted tours to enjoy the local ecologic diversity. Its apparent remoteness is a plus for planners looking for an alternative to the usual sun and sand destinations, though thanks to its connections through Mexico City it is more than accessible. Two hours away, Puerto Escondido home of the world-famous Mexican Pipeline and host of yearly international surfing competitions is ideal for groups and incentive programs centered around its gorgeous natural surroundings. Both rely heavily on tourism as their main economic driver. CLIMATE. Comfortable year-round temperatures stay between 68ºF (20ºC) and 86ºF (30ºC), with dry season from November to April. The best waves come in from October through November. HOW TO GET HERE. The Huatulco International Airport (HUX) receives nonstop flights from Chicago O Hare and seasonal flights from Houston and Minneapolis. You can also connect through Mexico City (MEX) for a short 1.5-hour flight. The Puerto Escondido National Airport (PXM) currently has no direct flights from the US but is only a one-hour flight from Mexico City (MEX), a 30-minute flight from Oaxaca (OAX), or a two-hour drive from Huatulco. WHERE TO STAY. Although more off-the-beaten path, Huatulco has a very solid hotel infrastructure and is home to several 4- and 5-star properties that decorate its gorgeous bays, with building restrictions keeping the properties in harmony with the surroundings. Planners can be assured of luxury accommodations in these beachfront resorts, with modern, upscale business facilities and meetings spaces for more intimate events or medium-sized gatherings of just over 2,000 attendees. Puerto Escondido tends more towards the small hotels, villas, and condos, excellent for executive retreats and incentive programs. WHERE TO MEET. Meeting space in Huatulco is found in the larger beach resorts. Las Brisas Huatulco has the largest convention center in the area, with a 1,811 ft2 (552 m2) theater for up to 700 people; a 2,227 ft2 (694 m2) executive conference room with wireless internet, lighting equipment, audio and video equipment rental that accommodates up to 800 people; and a grand outdoor space that can accommodate large groups. Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa s ballroom offers 7,000 ft2 (650 m2) of flexible meetings space for up to 770 people, and has a dedicated group event planner staff to help create memorable functions, from creative theme parties, to team building activities, dinners, and excursions. WHAT TO DO. Thanks to a soft, temperate climate and a spectacular piece of Pacific-front real estate, Huatulco is an ecotourism paradise, with 70% of its land set aside for ecological preserves. At the center of it all are a series of nine spectacular bays notched into 21 miles (34 km) of shoreline with 36 beaches, countless inlets and coves, and some of the most fantastic coastline in Mexico. While there is development, its remoteness keeps it under most planners radars, giving them an edge when it comes to unique and memorable events. Of the nine bays that were slated for development, only six have visitor facilities. The main areas include Tangolunda Bay, home to the big five-star resorts and villas, the Tangolunda Golf Club (18-hole course), a smattering of nightlife and a little resort shopping; the bay of Santa Cruz, with a good-sized marina, a small village with beachside restaurants and bars, plenty of shops and a cruise ship dock; and HUATULCO AND PUERTO ESCONDIDO Las Brisas Huatulco Convention Center Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa Bahias de Huatulco International Airport (HUX) Puerto Escondido International Airport (PXM) Beach Eco-Tourism 2,497 Mariel López Martínez / CEO Alan Ramos Ortíz / Managing Director HUATULCO AND PUERTO ESCONDIDO Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts (2020) El Dorado Royal Hotel (2020) El Dorado Royal Hotel (2020) Fiesta Americana (TBD)

47 92 SOUTH THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 93 SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS Casa Mazariegos Convention Center Tuxtla Gutierrez International Airport (TGZ) Colonial Eco-Tourism Adventure 2,000 Gastón Ramos San Millán / CEO Benjamín López Mendoza / CEO of the Convention Center Chahue Bay, located between the two above, with another marina, lots of high-end condo projects and villas, and a public beach. The destination s many DMCs offer a great number of eco-tourism and adventure opportunities for groups, from hikes to waterfalls, visits to organic coffee plantations and the Cascadas Mágicas waterfalls, bike rides, birdwatching to horseback rides on the beach, canyoneering and rafting. Yacht rentals and deep-sea fishing packages can also be arranged, and the Tangolunda Golf Club offers players an 18-hole, par-72 course. Tiny Puerto Escondido also offers relaxing beaches for post-event getaways, as well as the famous Mexican Pipeline on Zicatela Beach. Group surfing programs are a hit, albeit on the more calmer beaches, especially for beginners. This is also a base for eco-tourism and adventure activities: groups can set out on small, outboard motorboats to check out the local sea-life, charter a sport fishing excursion, or go on an outing to the coffee farms in Pluma de Hidalgo. Of note is the fact Puerto Escondido is starting to make a name for itself as a foodie destination, which lends itself to fun dine-arounds for groups. Meeting planners might want to consider combining an event in Oaxaca s colonial city with an added-value post-event beach stay for some R&R in either Huatulco or Puerto Escondido. STATE OF OAXACA 3San Cristobal de las Casas The state of Chiapas, an integral part of what s known as the Mundo Maya, is a unique venue for planners, offering an out-of-the-ordinary alternative destination to the more traditional meetings destinations. Known for its cultural diversity, magnificent rainforest and white-water rivers, this verdant state produces over 50 percent of the country s hydroelectric energy and it s also rich in petroleum reserves. Chiapas has a rich offering for planners grouped in two major locations: San Cristobal de Las Casas and Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Within these destinations planners will find everything from first-class hotels to perfectly preserved colonial cities, not to mention awe-inspiring preand post-event activities for their clients. One of the oldest colonial cities in Mexico, San Cristobal de las Casas is a designated Pueblo Mágico, or Magical Town, thanks to its culture, incredibly diverse ethnic population, gastronomy, and natural scenery, making it a one-of-a-kind destination for meetings and group travel. A fertile valley surrounded by mountains, its most important sector by economic output is mining, though commerce, services and tourism employ most of the workforce. CLIMATE. The temperature averages 54ºF (12ºC) during the dry season (November through April) and 63ºF (17ºC) average during the (very) rainy season (May through October). HOW TO GET HERE. Though there are no direct flights from the US, you can easily connect to the Tuxtla Gutierrez International Airport (TGZ) via Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Merida or Cancun. WHERE TO STAY. Most hotels in San Cristobal are meticulously restored colonial buildings with all the services and facilities needed for 21st-century executives and event attendees; the smaller upscale boutique properties are an excellent choice for rewarding top executives or intimate boardroom events. WHERE TO MEET. Casa Mazariegos Convention Center: Built in the 16th century for the founder of San Cristobal, it has been the residence of bishops, an episcopal palace, and an inn. Today its spectacular architecture houses 10 meeting rooms with 6,017 ft2 (560 m2) of meeting space. Alternative venues include the El Carmen Convention Center, part of the Fine Arts and Public Library cultural complex, a recently restored colonial structure with a cloister, a central patio and 13,380 ft2 (1,243 m2) of event space. The Na Bolom Cultural Center is another special event venue: a large haciend a that s part boutique hotel, part museum, and part restaurant, and once the home of Danish archaeologist Frans Blom and his wife. This is an excellent choice for academic or educational groups looking to learn more about this rich cultural region. WHAT TO DO. The Magical Town of San Cristóbal de la Casas is one of the oldest post-columbian cities in the Americas and has been named a national historical monument. Because of its size and layout, DMCs recommend planners think of the city as one venue, with the streets as passageways connecting the many boutique hotels and unique meetings spaces. The town s bohemian flair, cobblestone streets, whitewashed houses, and vibrant celebrations have become a magnet for groups looking for an off-the-troddenpath destination for their event. The incredible cultural diversity of the state is also reflected in its cuisine, a blend of traditional and mestizo cultures, and its marketplaces San Cristobal is, in fact, a shopper s paradise, and groups will find more than enough unique articles of clothing and souvenirs to take back home. The Mayan culture is alive and well in Chiapas: groups can also enjoy pre- or post-event visits to the small town of San Juan Chamula for a closer look at Mayan spirituality, which is a unique blend of Catholicism and pre-conquest Mayan traditions. 3Tuxtla Gutierrez The capital of Chiapas and the state s largest city, Tuxtla Gutierrez is the seat of the state government. Economic activities include commerce and the agricultural production of corn, beans, fruit, dairy cattle, and domestic fowl. CLIMATE. Relatively hot and humid. Temperatures range from 70s (21ºC) to 80s (27ºC) for highs and low 60s (16ºC) to low 70s (21ºC) for lows. HOW TO GET HERE. Though there are no direct flights from the US, you can easily connect to the Tuxtla Gutierrez International Airport (TGZ) via Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Merida or Cancun. WHERE TO STAY. Meeting planners will find familiar international chain hotels and well-known domestic brands in Tuxtla Gutierrez with on-site event space for small to mid-sized meetings and flexible function space. WHERE TO MEET. Chiapas Polyforum and Convention Center: This venue has 11,840 ft2 (1,100 m2) of meeting space and 14,800 ft2 (1,375 m2) of exhibition space, with a grand salon that can hold up to 1,500 people, a 100-person auditorium and an ample vestibule for expos. The adjacent auditorium has room for up to 3,875 spectators. Alternative venues include the Emilio Rabasa City Theater that can host events for up to 1,200 people; the Jaime Sabines Cultural Center that can welcome 200 people indoors and 100 people in their open air Sala Ágora; the Victor Manuel Reyna Stadium, which can host rallies of up to 30,000 people with services; and the Chiapas Autodrome has the capacity for events of up to 17,000 people. WHAT TO DO. Tuxtla Gutiérrez is quite modern, though with a very colonial heart. The historic center revolves around the traditional square, surrounded by restored buildings, where event attendees can enjoy their time off browsing through the arts and crafts sold by artisans and ambulant vendors at the Plaza San Marcos. Mustsees for group tours include a visit to the Chiapas Regional Museum and one of Mexico s most beautiful zoos: the Miguel Alvarez del Toro Zoo, with its varied collection of flora and fauna and an emphasis on conservation. After the sun goes down, the town has a good selection of bars, nightclubs, cafés, and restaurants open till the wee hours to let off some after-work steam. Planners looking to book incentive programs with an eco-tourism slant will find a paradise in this verdant state. Local DMCs can organize adventures including a kayak river tour through the impressive Cañon del Sumidero National Park; an afternoon at the thundering Misol-Ha waterfall or the turquoise pools of Agua Azul; or a morning spent canoeing the multicolored lakes of the Lagunas de Montebello National Park and that s just for starters. The state has over 40 reserves, with standouts that include Montes Azules in the Lacandon Jungle; El Triunfo in the Sierra Madre; El Ocote in the Zoque region; and La Encrucijada on the coast. Some of the most magnificent pre- or postevent tours would follow the Mayan Trail, where clients can come up close and personal not only with the impressive ancient remnants of this mighty civilization, but also with its contemporary descendants. Some of the most representative pre-hispanic archeological sites on this trail in Chiapas are Palenque (a UNESCO World Heritage Site); the riverside Yaxchilan; Bonampak and its brilliantly-colored and well-preserved murals; Tonina; Chinkultic; Tenam Puente; and Lagartero. The state has one of the largest and most diverse indigenous populations in Mexico, second only to Oaxaca. This cultural richness can be seen in its festivals, rituals and popular art particularly in its textiles. Handicrafts for take-homes can include back strap loom textiles; shellac from the Magical Town of Chiapa de Corzo; clay pitchers, jars, and animal figures; amber jewelry (which has the Protected Designation of Origin status); and much more. Chiapas is also the leading producer of coffee in Mexico and one of the major producers of certified coffee in the world: planners might want to consider adding the Coffee Route to their program, which winds its way through coffee plantations in the jungle. TUXTLA GUTIERREZ Chiapas Polyforum and Convention Center Tuxtla Gutierrez International Airport (TGZ) Urban Eco-Tourism Adventure 2,000 Gastón Ramos San Millán / CEO Benjamín López Mendoza / CEO of the Convention Center TUXTLA GUTIERREZ Via Park Commercial Plaza (TBD) Hotel One (TBD)

48 HOTELS This listing reflects hotels with 250 rooms or more; for DREAMS RESORT & SPA VICTORIA Find out why Mexico is the key to success for international meeting planners details on smaller properties please visit our webpage at Gran Turismo 421 rms. / 500 ppl. 150 rms. / 400 ppl and how it can work for you CHIAPAS HOTEL CROWNE PLAZA LAS BRISAS 484 rms. / 800 ppl. PUERTO ESCONDIDO CARACOL PLAZA rms. / 600 ppl. 219 rms. / 1 ste. / 1,200 ppl. SECRETS RESORT & SPA HOTEL HILTON GARDEN INN 399 rms. / 770 ppl rms. / 2,898 sf. HUATULCO OAXACA HOTEL MARRIOTT Gran Turismo BARCELÓ HUATULCO MISION OAXACA 210 rms. / 900 ppl. 351 rms. / 5 stes. / 1,000 ppl. 154 rms. / 1,000 ppl Oaxaca

49 YUCATAN LAND OF THE MAYA STATES OF CAMPECHE AND MERIDA. The Yucatan Peninsula and the states of Campeche and Yucatan have a magic all their own, with the undeniable influence of the ancient Mayan culture mixing perfectly with an economy strongly based on petroleum and tourism. The peninsula s third state, Quintana Roo, is home to the powerhouse leisure and meetings industry players of Cancun and Riviera Maya. Planners will find the three states work together particularly well in the incentives arena, as travel to and from archaeological sites and other attractions is easy and safe. (See more on Quintana Roo in Caribbean.) STATE OF CAMPECHE Campeche STATE OF YUCATAN Merida STATE OF CAMPECHE 3Campeche Less known on the tourism front than its sister states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo, Campeche nonetheless is home to important Mayan and colonial sites as well as extensive protected areas. Its economy s strategic sectors are agroindustry, seafood, forestry, mining, petrochemicals, and tourism. The state s homonymous capital city (pop. 238,000) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is currently receiving an influx of investment for new public works and the revitalization of others that will continue strengthening its tourism industry, including highways (including improved connectivity with Calakmul, one of its top attractions), museums, parks, sports arenas and more. Late last year it also registered a 149% increase in Direct Foreign Investment into its mining and manufacturing sectors. Of note is the fact Campeche recently claimed the distinction of being the safest state in Mexico, according the country s National Safety System. CLIMATE. Average highs range from low 70s (20 C) to low 80s (26 C), with average lows falling between the upper 60s (15 C) to mid-70s (10 C). Expect rain June through September. HOW TO GET HERE. Fly direct into the Mexico City International Airport (MEX) and connect to Campeche Airport (CPE) on a 1hr 40min flight. You can also fly nonstop from Houston to the Ciudad del Carmen International Airport (CME) and drive the 2hr 40min to Campeche City. WHERE TO STAY. Campeche has a unique offer for meeting planners: a group of gorgeously restored haciendas that have been transformed into luxury properties, perfect for boardroom meetings and events. There are also several wellknown chain properties in the city, as well as a 97

50 98 YUCATAN THE MEETINGS GUIDE TO MEXICO 2018 / MGMX com mx 99 CAMPECHE Campeche XXI Convention Center Campeche Airport (for connections from Mexico City) Colonial Eco-Tourism Cultural 1,016 Julio Manuel Peña / Director of Congresses and Conventions María Fernanda Gutiérrez / General Manager of Congresses and Conventions CAMPECHE Foro Campeche (TBD) handful of local properties with all the amenities needed for meetings and events travel. WHERE TO MEET. Campeche XXI Convention Center: Built beside the water along the boardwalk, this venue has 125,012 ft² (11,614 m²) of exhibit area and 229,400 ft² (21,312 m²) of meeting space along with stunning views of Campeche Bay. This modern center also offers 1,000 top-quality hotel rooms for event attendees. Off-site alternative venues include the San Miguel Fort, the Battery of San Luis and the Cloister at the Cultural Institute. WHAT TO DO. As a World Heritage Site, incentive trips to the fortified city of Campeche are not to be missed: its centuries-old buildings and mansions now house hotels, galleries, restaurants and more. There are several local DMCs that can also arrange pre- or post event activities to the Mayan archaeological sites of Edzna (with a sound and light show that adds value to any program), Chicanna, Becan, Balamku or Rio Bec, as well as hosted eco-adventures into the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, the Petenes Biosphere Reserve, or the Laguna de Terminos Natural Protected Area. STATE OF YUCATAN 3Merida The state of Yucatan is home to many of the best-known Mayan archaeological sites, with an economy based on tourism, agro-industry and fishing. The capital city of Merida has an exquisite cultural offer as well as a privileged geographical location; tourism is its principal source of economic activity, but thanks to the construction of the new convention center and plans for new hotels, it has a burgeoning future within the meetings industry. CLIMATE. The average annual high temperature is humid and 91 F (33 C), but temperatures often rise above 100 F (38 C) in the afternoon during the summer. Cooler temperatures range between 64 F (18 C) in January to 73 F (23 C) in May and June. Rainy season in Merida runs from June through October; hurricane season extends from June through November. HOW TO GET HERE. Remodeled in 2016, when the international arrivals space was expanded by more than 100%, the Merida International Airport (MID) welcomed more than 2 million people last year and increased its connectivity by 37%. A second master planned expansion is programmed for 2019 to keep up with infrastructure needs. The airport receives nonstop flights from Atlanta, Houston, and Miami; you can also fly into the Cancun International Airport (CUN) and connect via a 1hr flight or the Mexico City International Airport (MEX) and connect via a 1hr 45min flight. WHERE TO STAY. The region offers a very distinctive sort of accommodations that are the result of 17th and 19th century estates that grew up around the henequen plant, a type of sisal that once furnished the fiber for twine, rope, paper, textiles and more to the entire world. Many of the buildings that made up these immensely wealthy, family-owned plantations, or haciendas, continue to be an iconic part of the landscape of Yucatan, today converted into luxury hotels that offer absolute serenity, excellent service and exquisite cuisine to your high-end clients. In town, the development of a tourist corridor springing up near the new convention center continues, with more than 15 new hotels planned (both national and international brands) as well was a new retail plaza and a cultural center. Planners will find already established luxury options downtown with their own meetings and conventions space, as well as a collection of exclusive boutique hotels perfect for small executive groups. WHERE TO MEET. Yucatan Siglo XXI Convention and Expo Center: This venue has 123,085 ft² (11,435 m²) of combined exhibit, meetings and conventions space with a capacity for up to 6,500 attendees. Yucatan International Convention Center (ICC): Brand new for 2018, this eco-friendly center can accommodated up to 6,000 attendees in its ground level main hall and another 2,000 on the upper level, as well as a pair of outdoor terraces, all decked out with the latest technology and services. All told, it will offer 100,104 ft² (9,300 m²) of meetings, convention and expo space. Alternative venues include the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya with 21,528 ft² (2,000 m²) of permanent exhibition rooms and 6,458 ft² (600 m²) for traveling exhibitions WHAT TO DO. Built in part with stones from the ancient Mayan city of T Ho, the White City of Merida is a serene city with a vibrant local culture. It s also much closer in design to Paris, with wide avenues reminiscent of the Champs-Élysées and a strong offer of galleries and museums, including the Natural History Museum, the Yucatan Atheneum Museum of Contemporary Art, the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya and the Merida Theater, which host a colorful stream of folkloric ballets, plays, festivals, concerts and more on a regular basis, perfect for pre- and post-event activities. The historic downtown, closed to traffic on Sundays, becomes an open-air cultural center of its own, showcasing Yucatecan artisanship, traditions, and a sampling of the state s brilliant gastronomy: a delicious mixture of Mayan and European influences that inspire unforgettable client dine-arounds. And, of course, the city comes alive during Carnaval every February. Merida is also an excellent base of operations for pre- and post-event group tours that can include a travel back through time along the Hacienda Route with visits to the renovated haciendas on the old sisal plantations. Other top draws for groups include the daily sound and light show, Noches de Kukulcán, at the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza, which can include dinner, or a similar daily after-sunset spectacle at Uxmal, closer to town. If hold your event in September, consider organizing a group visit to see the Fall Equinox in Chichen Itza, when the shadow of an enormous serpent appears on the main pyramid. Local DMCs can also help planners organize pre- and post-event visits to the area s two famous Magical Towns: Valladolid and Izamal. The latter stands out for its marigold-colored buildings and Light of the Mayas sound and light show, held in the atrium of the convent. The villages can also host themed dinners for groups with the participation of locals, who put on traditional dances and other cultural activities for attendees. Eco-tourism can also be a part of a rich incentive program with day trips from Merida as well: the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, which can be enjoyed aboard 10-person flat-bottomed boats, offers groups a breathtaking view of flocks of bright pink flamingos that reside in the area, as well as the dozens of other species that call this area home. MERIDA Yucatan Siglo XXI Convention and Expo Center Yucatan International Convention Center Merida International Airport Colonial Eco-Tourism Cultural Culinary 3,330 Harold Sanders Palacios / CEO Ivonne Erosa Serrano / Sales Director MERIDA Chablé Resort & Spa (2016) Hotel Wayam by Xixim (2018) Yucatan International Convention Center (ICC) (2018)

51 HOTELS This list includes some of the top properties suitable for the MICE market; for a more comprehensive list of destination hotels please visit CAMPECHE GAMMA DEL FIESTA INN CAMPECHE MALECON 146 rms. / 390 ppl HOLIDAY INN 107 rms. / 250 ppl MÉRIDA FIESTA AMERICANA MÉRIDA 350 rms. / 1,200 ppl HYATT REGENCY MÉRIDA 289 rms. / 1058 ppl LOS ALUXES 155 rms. / 530 ppl PRESIDENTE INTERCONTINENTAL VILLA MERCEDES 127 rms. / 748 ppl 100

52 MEXICAN CARIBBEAN BEACHSIDE MEETINGS STATE OF QUINTANA ROO. The youngest state in Mexico, Quintana Roo is home to Cancun and the Riviera Maya, two of the country s top destinations for the MICE industry thanks to their extraordinary meetings and hotel infrastructure, where superb five-star properties far outnumber four-star and under accommodations. The islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres add to the Mexican Caribbean s stellar MICE offer with their unparalleled natural attractions and, albeit on a smaller scale than their on-shore counterparts, their top-notch resorts and services. STATE OF QUINTANA ROO Cancun Riviera Maya Cozumel Island Isla Mujeres STATE OF QUINTANA ROO 3Cancun Cancun was chosen for tourism development by the Mexican government back in the 70s thanks to its incredible natural attractions: turquoise blue water teaming with sea life, pristine white sand that stays cool even on the hottest day, lush jungle and access to unique freshwater sinkholes, known as cenotes. That s not to mention its proximity to some of the Yucatan peninsula s most amazing archaeological sites. Today, Cancun offers a superb infrastructure that revolves around a vast selection of mostly all-inclusive beachfront resorts well endowed with state-of-the-art meetings and event spaces backed by high-tech innovation and professional staff, as well as a first-class convention center and one of the most well-connected international airports in the country. Add in upscale modern shopping malls, a nightlife famous in its own right, and an ever-expanding selection of restaurants it s no wonder Cancun is a star on the global stage for meetings, events and incentive travel. CLIMATE. Cancun has a semi-tropical climate, with highs from mid-may until the end of August that can reach 110 F (43 C) and balmier weather from December through the end of April, when the average temperature is F (22-32 C). Rainy season (short afternoon showers) runs from September through the end of November. Hurricane season in the state of Quintana Roo officially begins June 1st and ends November 20th. Maximum activity is between August and October, with the peak activity normally being in early to mid-september. HOW TO GET HERE. The Cancun International Airport (CUN) handles the second largest volume 103

53 104 MEXICAN CARIBBEAN CANCUN Cancun International Convention Center Cancun International Airport (CUN) Beach Golf Adventure Eco-Tourism Culture 29,381 Lizzie Cole / CEO Rocío González / Meetings Director MEETINGS CANCUN Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort (2016) Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun (renovation) (2017) Seadust Cancun Family Resort (renovation) (2017) Temptation Resort & Spa Cancun (renovation) (2017) Cancun International Airport Terminal 4 (2017) Westin Resort & Spa Cancun (renovation) (2018) Iberostar Cancun (renovation) (2018) Riu Costa Mujeres (2018) Now Riviera Cancun (2018) Sunscape Cancun (2018) Breathless Cancun (2018) Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa (2018) TRS Coral Hotel (2018) Kukulcan Plaza (renovation) (2018) Hotel Ushuaia Cancun (2019) Secrets Riviera Cancun (2019) Hard Rock Riviera Cancun (2019) of traffic in Mexico, with 2,249 domestic flights and 4,533 international flights per year, and has received the highest ratings for its modern facilities and equipment. In 2016 the airport increased its air connectivity by more than 8%, and in late 2017 inaugurated Terminal 4 with 18 gates that increased annual capacity by about 9 million passengers, and features two levels plus a mezzanine, shopping area, and food court. This expansion makes it Mexico s second busiest, with an estimated 25 million passengers per year or up to 75 operations per hour. By 2020, the capacity would increase to 32 million. It should be noted Terminal 2 is slated for renovation and Terminal 3 for expansion, which will include a hotel (2018). Direct flights are available from Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus (Ohio), Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington, D.C. WHERE TO STAY. Cancun has one of the best infrastructures in the country, with luxury resorts and hotels that receive some millions of visitors a year, with over 20% of these linked to the meetings industry. The hotel zone is located on a 17-mile stretch of coastline, with the brilliant blue waves of the Caribbean Sea on one side and the peaceful, clear waters of the Nichupte Lagoon on the other. Over the last few years, most of the hotels in this destination have evolved into all-inclusive properties, though there are still a number of properties that also offer European plan stays. Many have upped the ante and now include true fine dining options, designer touches and experiences tailored to the particular traveler, whether it s high-end luxury, family-friendly, adult-only or budget-friendly. In fact, a full three quarters of the hotels have five-star ratings, and there are five properties that have been awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award for their luxury and sophistication. More than 50 hotels in Cancun have perfected the art of welcoming meetings and conventions attendees, with dedicated staff trained to work closely with meeting planners and their own onsite meeting rooms and business centers. In an interesting side-note: there are over 4,200 hotel rooms that are within walking distance of the city s Imagine a mystic region, where adventure and romance offer customer service and approximately 400,000 ft 2 of meeting unique experiences, where the cuisine conspires to charm space. One of the largest spaces provided for big events can your palate, where the skies begin and end with the turquoise welcome over 3,000 people comfortably, but there are also plenty waters of the Caribbean and its white-sugar sand beaches. of smaller, secluded spaces for more intimate events. Sounds dreamy, doesn t it? Well, you ve found the perfect In addition, here in Mexico congresses, conventions, place for a business meeting. exhibitions and international fairs benefit from the 0% Value- The main access point to Riviera Maya is the Cancun Added Tax incentive for foreign event organizers. In other International Airport, located 35 minutes from Playa del words, the VAT will not be charged for services specified under Carmen, or you can travel via the Cozumel International the law, which includes those provided by the hotel or venue Airport. Once here, you can move around and arrive in time such as accommodation, food and beverage, audio visual to all your meetings thanks to the many local companies that equipment, transportation and others. provide ground transportation. And as we mentioned before, Riviera Maya is the perfect place for incentive trips since here in Paradise we have everything, The concept of working in Paradise is quite wonderful: it s almost from eco-adventures to awe-inspiring meetings, from great ethereal. Our hotels are fully-equipped to host the congress team-building excursions to day-long events for spouses. you ve always dreamed of as well as the most intrepid incentive trips, all of which will surely meet and exceed your expectations. Consider arranging an outdoor group event at one of the Over 410 hotels dot the 81 miles of Riviera Maya s shoreline, region s many eco-parks, a day of snorkeling or river rafting, 55 of them completely dedicated to the MICE market with a game at one of our premier Golf courses, skydiving-perhaps magnificent spaces and services. Just in the hotels available a great suggestion for your boss-or indulging in a tequila exclusively for meetings we offer more than 40,000 rooms to tasting and amazing gourmet Mexican cuisine on 5 th Avenue in keep your clients and colleagues comfortable with high-end downtown Playa del Carmen. For more information, please login to and get all the tools to make your successful event happen!

54 106 MEXICAN CARIBBEAN International Convention Center, making these hotels extremely convenient for attendees of large ICC events. Investment in the area continued to boom: according to the Ministry of Tourism (SEDETUR), for there are a total of 35 new hotel projects in the works, which are expected to bring in approximately 17,897 new rooms. WHERE TO MEET. Cancun International Convention Center: Located in the heart of the hotel zone in Punta Cancun, the Cancun ICC has 78,533 ft² (7,296 m²) of exhibit and 75,541 ft² (7,018 m²) of meeting space. The center is currently undergoing renovations and expansions for restaurants and businesses that are expected to conclude in January The CICC has hosted more than 6,000 world-class conventions and over 40 thousand attendees. There are a great many alternative venues along the Cancun shoreline within area hotels, some of which have dedicated convention centers on-site. WHAT TO DO. The unbeatable mix of sugarwhite sand, the stunning Caribbean Sea, and its exceptional service and hotel infrastructure make Cancun an ideal destination for groups and incentive travel. This striking shoreline is wide open for every kind of water sport imaginable, including choice sport fishing and Jet Ski tours through the mangroves of the beautiful Nichupte Lagoon. Planners can tap local dive and snorkel shops to organize underwater adventures to nearby reefs or the fantastic Cancun Underwater Museum, just a few miles offshore near Isla Mujeres. Water-based tour options for groups can include dolphin swims; combination jungle and snorkel tours; day charters aboard a catamaran including cocktails and snorkeling; deep sea fishing; lobster sunset dinner cruises; and even a dinner event aboard a pirate galleon. There are a number of local DMC s that can partner with planners and offer complete planning, destination management services, and incentive programs to make the best of the many options available for successful events. On dry land, Cancun can keep event attendees busy after their daily meetings with airconditioned shopping centers, a local mercado for a more colorful shopping experience and a different restaurant for every night of the week. And everyone knows there s many a business deal that goes down on a golf course, so the greens are available for a little R&R mixed with shoptalk. For after-hours entertainment, nightclubs, bars and discos are a Cancun staple, with DMCs available to organize theme nights and special events. The destination is a great base of operations for post-event group day-trips south down the peninsula to eco-parks that combine modern facilities with natural wonders, or visits to the extraordinary Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, Coba, Ek Balam and, closer in, the beachside Tulum. These can be arranged with air-conditioned transportation, the tour and a meal. Chichen Itza, for example, offers a breathtaking light and sound show, Noches de Kukulkán, which can be combined with a guided tour of the archaeological site followed by dinner. Enjoying is important to achieve success, come with us and start smiling to the great moments. Contact our experts and find out why we are your best choice ext

55 108 MEXICAN CARIBBEAN RIVIERA MAYA Cancun International Airport (CUN) Beach Golf Eco-Tourism 23,667 Darío de Jesús Flota / CEO Clementina del Tejo / Meetings Manager RIVIERA MAYA UNICO 20º 87º Hotel (2017) Andaz Mayakoba (2017) Hotel Xcaret-Mexico (2017) The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun (2017) Ventus at Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort Cancun Riviera Maya (2017) Woodward Riviera Maya Hard Rock Hotel (2017) Zoëtry Paamul Riviera Maya (2018) W Kanai Retreat (2018) The St. Regis Kanai Resort (2018) Park Hyatt (Kanai) (TBD) Breathless Playa del Carmen Resort & Spa (2018) Breathless Impression Playa del Carmen (2018) Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya (2019) Xavage Eco-Theme Park (2019) 3Riviera Maya The Riviera Maya lies south of the Cancun International Airport along the eastern coast of Mexico, starting just past Puerto Morelos and stretching down past myriad small towns past 86 miles (120 km) of stunning beaches. Once considered far off-the-beaten-path, Riviera Maya has become a magnet for planners seeking something different in the Mexican Caribbean, something with more of a Mayan flavor that offers excellent services and facilities, as well as a unique mix of adventure and relaxation for attendees and their families. CLIMATE. Riviera Maya s weather is the same as Cancun s: a semi-tropical climate, with highs from mid-may until the end of August that can reach 110 F (43 C) and balmier weather from December through the end of April, when the average temperature is F (22-32 C). Rainy season (short afternoon showers) runs from September through the end of November. Hurricane season in the state of Quintana Roo officially begins June 1st and ends November 20th. Maximum activity is between August and October, with the peak activity normally being in early to mid-september.. HOW TO GET HERE. The Cancun International Airport (CUN) handles the second largest volume of traffic in Mexico, with 2,249 domestic flights and 4,533 international flights per year, and has received the highest ratings for its modern facilities and equipment. In 2016 the airport increased its air connectivity by more than 8%, and in late 2017 inaugurated Terminal 4 with 18 gates that increased annual capacity by about 9 million passengers, and features two levels plus a mezzanine, shopping area, and food court. This expansion makes it Mexico s second busiest, with an estimated 25 million passengers per year or up to 75 operations per hour. By 2020, the capacity would increase to 32 million. It should be noted Terminal 2 is slated for renovation and Terminal 3 for expansion, which will include a hotel (2018). Direct flights are available from Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus (Ohio), Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington, D.C. WHERE TO STAY. Riviera Maya s lush coastline is dotted with towns flanked by first-class resort properties, including the only over-water bungalows in Latin America. Many of them are somewhat off the beaten track and were built with the all-inclusive concept in mind, providing guests with dining, entertainment and meeting options onsite. Of note is the fact the area has more Fourand Five-Diamond properties than any other region in the country, giving planners a wide array of prime choices for clients. Within the region there are several developments, or clusters, of hotels. For example, the Playacar area south of trendy Playa del Carmen (known locally as Playa) houses large four- and five-star all-inclusive properties. These are beachfront and a big plus within walking distance to the fun and shopping in bustling Playa. To the north, the peaceful village of Puerto Morelos is not quite as hip as Playa but definitely has its own particular charm, not to mention its own collection of upscale five-star and even Five- Diamond properties. Much like Cancun, hotels here also run the gamut, from family-friendly to adult-only with most if not all offering their own meeting space, business centers and professional bilingual staff to help planners organize a successful event. Some of the bigger hotel chains have even opted for building their own full-sized convention facilities in an enclave surrounded by three or more of their own branded properties, making them capable of hosting larger meetings and conventions without attendees having to add cab fare to their stay. Most have the stay at one, play at all modality as well, adding value to group stays. WHERE TO MEET. There are several large resorts in Riviera Maya that offer excellent on-site venues for just about any size meeting and/or convention, many with outdoor areas to take full advantage of the Caribbean landscape, smart technology, multi-function space and cuttingedge services. WHAT TO DO. Riviera Maya combines experiences that range from visits to monumental archaeological sites to dips in freshwater sinkholes (cenotes); adventures in underground rivers and amazing biosphere reserves; diving, snorkeling, fishing and kayaking; eco-theme park fun; dolphin swims and much more. And with the opening of the Woodward Riviera Maya camp at the Hard Rock Hotel, visitors can now ski, snowboard and rock in paradise to their favorite lifestyle sport. Passion for excellence BlueBay Hotels in the Riviera Maya offers two hotels to hold professional events and enjoy an unbeatable destination. Organize your meetings in an adults only, all inclusive boutique hotel with à la carte luxury or in a five-star resort with all modern comforts. Unique and exclusive, totally adapted spaces, and rooms fitted with the very latest technology for conferences and seminars. SPECIALISTS IN MEETINGS AND EVENTS PERSONALIZED ATTENTION FULLY EQUIPPED ROOMS FIRST LINE BEACH RESORTS GOURMET EXPERIENCES FIRST RATE SPA SPORTS AND NAUTICAL ACTIVITIES DREAMY SWIMMING POOLS WITH DESIGN REST AREAS LARGE DIMENSIONS ROOMS AND SUITES GYM WITH LAST TECHNOLOGY EQUIPMENT AND SUPERVISED CLASSES PRIVATE BEACH BLUEBAY GRAND ESMERALDA ***** RIVIERA MAYA MEXICO T: (+52) BLUE DIAMOND LUXURY BOUTIQUE HOTEL *****GL RIVIERA MAYA MEXICO (ADULTS ONLY) T: (+52)

56 110 MEXICAN CARIBBEAN COZUMEL ISLAND AND ISLA MUJERES Cozumel Convention Center Cozumel International Airport (CZM) Beach Eco-Tourism Diving 3,508 (Cozumel) 646 (Isla Mujeres) Darío de Jesús Flota / CEO Clementina del Tejo / Meetings Manager COZUMEL ISLAND AND ISLA MUJERES Sheraton Cozumel (2018) Experiencias Xcaret has the market cornered when it comes to venues with a twist for groups in Riviera Maya. Planners will find spectacular added value by holding events at parks such as Xel-Ha, Xcaret, Xplor, Xenotes Oasis Maya, Xoximilco and Xichen that include food, beverage, entertainment and more for groups of 20 to 6,000. Riviera Maya also has an impressive collection of golf courses where planners can organize friendly competitions for their clients, many of which are part of luxury resorts. The exclusive Mayakoba development, for example, has a Golf Academy on its El Camaleon course, designed by Greg Norman and a favorite for its views of the mangrove, the jungle and the Caribbean Sea (this is home to the PGA TOUR Mayakoba Golf Classic). Incentive planners might want to keep in mind the development also appeals to water sports enthusiasts and eco-tourists with its boat excursions through the mangroves and varied above- and underwater activities. 3Cozumel Island and Isla Mujeres Tourism, world-class diving, and charter fishing are the mainstays of these islands economies. Cozumel is directly across the water from Playa del Carmen in Riviera Maya, while tiny Isla Mujeres (one of Mexico s Magical Towns) is located just eight miles (13 km) across the Bahía de Mujeres (Bay of Women) in Cancun. CLIMATE. RThe islands share the same climate as Cancun and Riviera Maya: a semi-tropical climate, with highs from mid-may until the end of August that can reach 110 F (43 C) and balmier weather from December through the end of April, when the average temperature is F (22-32 C). Rainy season (short afternoon showers) runs from September through the end of November. Hurricane season in the state of Quintana Roo officially begins June 1st and ends November 20th. Maximum activity is between August and October, with the peak activity normally being in early to mid-september. HOW TO GET HERE. Fly directly into the Cozumel International Airport (CZM) from Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Chicago O Hare, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Houston- Intercontinental, or Newark. Alternatively you can fly into Cancun International Airport (CUN) and take a 20-minute flight via MAYAir to Cozumel; a ferry also departs Playa del Carmen for a 30-minute ride to Cozumel. For Isla Mujeres, fly into the Cancun International Airport (CUN) and go by land to Puerto Juarez, where there are two ferry docks for the 15-minute crossing to Isla Mujeres. WHERE TO STAY. The third largest island in Mexico, Cozumel offers visitors 50 hotels, from internationally renowned hotels chains to rustic villas and incredible resorts. The smaller island of Isla Mujeres, offers a handful of smaller boutique properties perfect for upscale executive-level events. WHERE TO MEET. Cozumel Convention Center: Fifteen minutes from the airport, this convention center has three main salons for exhibitions, special events, conventions, banquets, cocktails, etc. with a total area of 38,212 ft² (3,550 m²). WHAT TO DO. Cozumel is in the top 10 destinations worldwide for diving for the exceptional variety of marine life in over 40 dive sites in and around the Cozumel Reef National Park and the spectacular Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. On land there are ancient Mayan ruins to be explored or jeep tours to take, while more active meeting participants can enjoy climbing, abseiling, hiking, zip lines, tennis, horseback riding, quad biking, or tooling around on the bike path that runs along 12 miles (19 km) next to the sea. Isla Mujeres excels at windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling and diving: in fact, the unique MUSA Cancun Underwater Museum is located right off its coast a mere 28 feet (8 meters) from the surface. Boasting 500 life-sized sculptures by six different artists, the MUSA provides areas for coral growth and shelter for fish. It has been described as an art of conservation by one of its founders, and paddling through it offers a truly unique experience event attendees will never forget. On land, this tiny island offers pre- and post-event activities that include tours to sand dunes, lagoons and mangrove forests. Planners can also consider organizing deep sea fishing excursions or friendly tournaments for their clients, as the waters around these islands are famous for their sport fishing.

57 HOTELS KRYSTAL CANCUN 385 rms. / 3,778 sf. / 400 ppl KRYSTAL GRAND PUNTA CANCUN 295 rms. / 2,077 sf. 150 ppl SMART BY OASIS THE BUSINESS HOTEL 119 rms. / 600 ppl THE PYRAMID LUXURY AT GRAND OASIS 510 rms. / 2,500 ppl This list includes some of the top properties suitable for the MICE GRAND OASIS PALM THE MEXICAN RESORT LE BLANC SPA RESORT market; for a more comprehensive 260 rms. / 22 stes. list of destination hotels please visit 595 rms. / 400 ppl. 8,418 sf. / 420 ppl CANCÚN BEACH PALACE HARD ROCK HOTEL CANCUN 601 rms. / 16,408 sf LIVE AQUA CANCUN 371 rms. / 36 stes. 18, sf. / 1,000 ppl. 287 rms. / 24 stes. ,274 sf. / 600 ppl EMPORIO HOTEL & SUITES CANCUN HOTEL PRESIDENTE INTERCONTINENTAL CANCUN 289 rms. / 24 stes. / 10,000 sf. NIZUC RESORT & SPA 275 stes. 5,760 sf. / 400 ppl. COZUMEL 399 rms. / 2, sf FIESTA AMERICANA CONDESA CANCUN IBEROSTAR CANCUN HOTEL 426 rms. / 47,301 sf. / 1,900 ppl OH! THE URBAN OASIS 52 rms. / 600 ppl EL COZUMELENO BEACH RESORT 285 rms. / 500 ppl 502 rms. / 26 stes. HOTEL COZUMEL & RESORT 18,281 sf. / 1,200 ppl rms. / 1 ste. / 4,930 sf. GRAND OASIS CANCUN THE ENTERTAINMENT RESORT Gran Turismo HOTEL EL CID LA CEIBA COZUMEL 1,234 rms. / 2,500 ppl rms. / 120 ppl. GRAND FIESTA AMERICANA CORAL BEACH CANCUN IBEROSTAR COZUMEL Gran Turismo 603 stes. / 85,000 sf. 306 rms. / 6 stes. / 2,325 sf 112

58 HOTELS MELIA COZUMEL 147 rms. / 240 ppl PRESIDENTE INTERCONTINENTAL COZUMEL RESORT & SPA 220 rms. / 37 stes. / 250 ppl SECRETS AURA COZUMEL 267 stes. / 3,600 sf SUNSCAPE SABOR COZUMEL 330 rms. / 3,600 sf PLAYA DEL CARMEN GRAND VELAS ALL SUITE & SPA RESORT 537 stes. / 91,000 sf HACIENDA TRES RÍOS 274 stes. / 15,815 sf SECRETS MAROMA BEACH RIVIERA CANCUN 413 stes. / 7,752 sf PLAYACAR IBEROSTAR TUCAN 324 rms. / 26 stes. / 9,692 sf PLAYACAR PALACE 208 rms. / 3,330 sf ROYAL HIDEAWAY PLAYACAR BY OCCIDENTAL RESORT & SPA 200 rms. / 8,862 sf SANDOS PLAYACAR BEACH RESORT 300 rms. / 6,458 sf THE REEF PLAYACAR 210 rms. / 480 ppl VIVA WYNDHAM MAYA 480 rms. / 18,980 sf PUERTO AVENTURAS CATALONIA RIVIERA MAYA 628 rms. / 52 stes. / 600 ppl PUNTA BETE SECRETS CAPRI RIVIERA CANCUN 291 rms. / 94 stes. / 6,700 sf PUNTA JUAREZ BARCELO MAYA COLONIAL BEACH 481 rms. / 850 ppl RIVIERA MAYA BARCELO MAYA 2,741 rms. / sf COMPLEJO IBEROSTAR PARAISO 424 rms. / sf EL DORADO ROYALE & SPA RESORT 647 rms. / sf FAIRMONT MAYAKOBA 401 rms. / 10,000 sf GRAND RIVIERA & SUNSETS PRINCESS 858 rms. / 27,233 sf HARD ROCK RIVIERA MAYA 1,264 rms. / 87,800 sf ROSEWOOD MAYAKOBA 128 rms. / 1,231 sf UNICO RIVIERA MAYA 448 rms GRAND HYATT PLAYA DEL CARMEN 314 rms. / 550 ppl playadelcarmen.grand. PARADISUS LA PERLA & LA ESMERALDA 904 rms. 15,100 sf. / 1,300 ppl TULUM DREAMS TULUM RESORT & SPA 432 rms. 7,900 sf XCARET GRAND XCARET BY OCCIDENTAL 754 rms. / 84 stes. 1,600 ppl XPU-HA BARCELO MAYA PALACE DELUXE 756 rms. / 12 stes. 350 ppl 114