the aftermath of the US Presidential elections and Donald
Trump, the man who promised to build a wall between the
United States of America and Mexico has just emerged as
the winner and 45th President-elect of the United States
of America. What does this mean for Mexico City and its
advancement? Executive Traveller Magazine Editor-in-Chief
met up with Mexico City Tourism Trust Director of Events
Maria Magdalena Sanchez Lopez to find out what this new
political development means to Mexico City and the world
with which it does business.
with a comprehensive meeting planner guide, a style map
and a Mexico City museums guide, a very confident Magda
Sanchez Lopez (as she prefers to called) says that Mexico
City is ready for business.
me a little bit about the Mexico City Tourism Trust
and what makes you the right person to take on this
challenge of promoting Mexico City on their behalf?
The Mexico City Tourism Trust is not new; it was created
in the 90s and between 1997 and 2003 it vigorously
began to promote Mexico City as a stand-alone destination.
As a public organization, it is in charge of the promotion
of Mexico City through its brand CDMX. It is also
the only entity of the Government of the City responsible
for the care and promotion of the meetings segment.
Funding for the development of the City is levied
via a room tax which is used solely to promote the
destination. The Trust itself is financed by the Government,
controlled by a Board made up of public and private
bodies alongside a Conventions Bureau.
my part, I have over 10 years’ experience in
the public sector and my focus now is the promotion
of Mexico City in general but with interest in promoting
the city as a business tourist destination. I work
with a very dynamic team aged between 24-60 years
all of whom are very keen to make Mexico City a thriving
of our earlier challenges was to convince travellers passing
through Mexico City to other destinations to stay overnight
in the City to have a taste of Mexico City.
delighted to learn that Mexico City Mexico City is not troubled
with Donald Trump and his wall and the City is ready to
present itself as a business destination. However, you will
agree that history does not place the city on the right
side of the business mirror. The destination has been called
many derogatory names such as “worst crime city”,
“drug barons’ haven”, “polluted
with street crime” among many others. What would you
say to today’s business traveller to convince them
that it is safe to choose Mexico City as a business destination?
What has changed now?
All those horror stories that you mention was the wall that
was created in the past. Today, Mexico City has a powerful
story to share as a model for other megacities around the
globe using creativity to tackle the challenges of urbanization
and ensure that it is a more enjoyable city. The City is
a thriving metropolis and the heart of Mexico’s business,
arts, culture and culinary industries, offering rich experiences
for visitors of varying interests. It is Mexico’s
business and touristic premier destination. And with The
New York Times naming Mexico City as the Number one destination
on their annual list of “52 Places to go”; the
only way is up. These are exciting times for Mexico City.
business destination requires first class amenities and
facilities to make it successful. What has Mexico City got
to offer that will make it attractive to businesses and
especially the meetings, incentives, conferences and events
We have the best-selling pointers for business events with
world-class ranking business centres, first class hotel
and a wide range of events venues. In Mexico City, events
can be hosted in hotels as well as within historic centres.
We have a commitment to greenness and even have venues solely
dedicated to charitable events.
the saying goes, food and drink makes a business go down
well. How are F&B businesses in Mexico City positioning
themselves for this challenge?
We have created the Stylemap CDMX Mexico City. This is the
Connoisseur’s guide to the best culture, food, shopping
and nightlife by Travesias. The guide which is bilingual
English-Spanish walks you through the various neighbourhoods
of Mexico sharing information about where to shop and eat
as well as what to do in each area.
all, we want people to enjoy our local culinary delights.
Mexican food has met with UNESCO cultural heritage approval
and this is important. French and Mexican cuisine are the
only two who have met these standards. We have a wide range
of choices of street food serving our traditional Taco al
Pastor which is an historic dish of one of the most popular
varieties of tacos. The Tacos al Pastor dates to the 1920s
and 30s and the arrival of Lebanese and Syrian immigrants
in Mexico. There is always something for every palate in
Mexico City and they mostly taste good.
practicality of travel to and from Mexico City from the
rest of the world. This would certainly have an enormous
impact on how successful you can attract international trade.
Are there any new developments with regards to air travel
between Mexico City and the rest of the world?
A great deal of work has gone into making Mexico City International
airport an excellent hub. It is the largest and biggest
airport in Latin America. The airport is owned by Mexico
City’s Grupo Aeroportuario and is the main hub of
Mexico’s largest airline, Aeromexico. There are several
daily flights to and from all over the world and across
Mexico. British Airways flies six times a week between London
and Mexico City, Alitalia flies thrice a week from Rome,
Air France daily from Paris. Aeromexico flies to all these
destinations in addition for Tokyo, Shanghai, and the Netherlands.
Mexico City is busy welcoming and seeing off travellers.
travel, smog alerts, traffic restrictions, car bans are
some of the very few things that make Mexico City a challenging
place to visit. What would you advise meeting organisers
or delegates to do or incorporate in their planning?
We advise organisers to seek assistance from local professionals
especially as they are on the ground and will always know
what is happening in the City. Above all, we have also produced
a comprehensive Meeting Planner Guide which is a useful
tool that will let you know the key elements so that a congress,
convention or exhibition turns into a unique experience
in Mexico City.
first part of the guide provides information regarding air
and ground connections of our capital city. It also gives
you information about the main geographic or clusters zones,
where meetings take place. On each cluster, you will find
hotels and restaurants around a Conference Center (airport
and south not included. The guide also shows you cultural
sites, catering enterprises and touristic products, as well
as professional organizers, specialized travel agencies,
are also bicycle sharing schemes available for those who
may be interested.
alone without a dip in culture and lifestyle will not make
it a welcoming destination to complement MICE experience
for delegates? Care to share any tips that would lure the
virgin business traveller and at the same time convince
the otherwise biased travellers that it is not all about
business in Mexico City today.
Mexico City is a thriving metropolis and the heart of Mexico’s
business, arts, culture and culinary industries. The city
offers rich experiences for visitors of varying interests.
Mexico City is packed with Museums; it is arguably the city
with the most museums in the world totaling 141. We have
also recently published a brand-new guide to Mexico City
Museums which gives detailed information about all the Museums
including the strangest and the less interesting ones. In
addition to Museums, there are great nightlife activities,
cool bars, festivals, parades and shows. Mexico City is
a City that it surprises its visitors with amazing and original
experiences: a new flavour, an unexpected adventure or the
magic of its history, the options are endless in this city.
There are always different alternatives for every visitor
because it is a vibrant and contemporary destination that
combines modern, colonial and pre-Hispanic influences dating
back to 1325. The City alone has 7 hidden pyramids.
Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world, offering
something for everyone, for every budget and if events’
organizers collaborate with local guides, delegates will
surely have a great time in Mexico City.
destination is only as delightful to visit as its people
are welcoming to receive visitors. Are the people of Mexico
City ready for this business travel explosion and are they
looking forward to embrace visitors?
Mexicans are naturally warm and friendly people. While others
are keen on building fences and walls, Mexico City is ready
to receive visitors. The Mexico City Tourism Trust regularly
shares information with the communities and we know that
as true Mexicans they are ready to welcome visitors with
this enthusiastic welcome be geared mainly to your Latin
American and North American neighbours or would you endeavour
to make visitors from Europe especially the United Kingdom
feel welcome as well?
Our open invitation is to the whole world especially the
United Kingdom and Europe. There has never been a more exciting
time to visit and do business in Mexico City than now. For
our Latin and Northern American neighbours we already know
they appreciate our hospitality especially as The New York
Times named Mexico City the Number one destination on their
annual list “52 Places to go”.
is there any message that may have been omitted in our conversation
here today that you would like to share with the world?
We want the world to know that Mexico City is open for business.
It is one of the most important gastronomic destinations
in the world, where you can enjoy, besides traditional Mexican
food (listed by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage
of humanity), dishes from all over the world, and has 3
of the world’s most renowned international restaurants.
It has rich history and culture, museums and the people
are welcoming, warm and friendly. Mexico City is now very
exciting to visit; a study conducted by Canada-based independent
research firm YouthfulCities, positioned Mexico City in
the top 10 as one of the most youthful cities in the world
and number1 in Latin America.
joining the Mexico City Tourism Trust, Magda worked for
the World Bank and was in charge the coordination of diplomatic
missions of the governments of Bangladesh and Andhra Pradesh,
India in Mexico. She also worked at the representation office
of the Mexican Navy at the Mexican Embassy in the USA where
she oversaw this entity’s events in the USA and Canada.