Rebuilding A Tourism Destination: Mexico City
Mexico City is one of the world's great capitals and most diverse tourism destinations.Yet in recent years it had virtually dropped off the leisure travel radar. Years of official inaction and negative reporting on the city's crime rate and air quality were having a cumulative and devastating effect.Its true identity distorted by a series of unflattering stereotypes, Mexico City was experiencing the worst of marketplace fates: It had been written off and only negative news was being reported.
Strategies and Goals
After 15 years of damage and neglect, the challenge involved more than a "tourism" problem. Mexico City's image required attention from the foundation up. Our program was shaped strategically to reach a broad spectrum of opinion makers in and beyond the tourism sector (government, business and entertainment) to have a tangible and even jarring impact on the relatively select few in the travel media and the industry who could "move the arrow" and make a difference.
Our goals were to
- Fill the information vacuum on the positive side of the news equation.
- Emphasize the municipal government's commitment and action programs to resolve crime and other quality of life problems.
- Emphasize that Mexico City is moving in a different and positive direction.
- Establish a theme that is durable, does not overreach, and clearly conveys the challenge and the audience messages implicit in the new programs and a slow rebirth with the changes in government: "Take a Fresh Look at Mexico City." [Top]
Program Planning and Strategy
- Restore credibility by guiding government officials in dealing with the media and presenting the City's competitive position.
- Present specific evidence that the city's tourism infrastructure is expanding.
- Establish the Mexico City News Bureau to conduct an on-going information campaign consisting of fresh facts on 15 high-interest subjects; re-involve lifestyle media through an aggressive program of monthly rediscovery and themed press visits; and publicize events and new initiatives.
- Establish contact with Mexico City's foreign press corps to anticipate and deal with negatives and promote positive coverage.
- Develop procedures for dealing with negative breaking news.
- Secure editorial endorsements by leaders in business, travel, entertainment and arts.
This success was measured quantitatively in a nine percent increase in visitors to Mexico City during 12 months. In the course of one year, more than 750 positive articles were generated. Utilizing a full spectrum of the media - print, radio, online and television - Mexico City reached a worldwide audience of more than 500 million people. For its first time ever outside of the U.S., the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) chose Mexico City to host Travel Mart. The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) Board of Directors held their meeting in Mexico City, the first time in over a decade.