By Mark Chesnut
Mexico may be a perennial hotspot for vacations, but it’s also an attractive destination to do business—thanks in no small part to the many international companies that operate there and also the attractive facilities and economic advantages that Mexico offers for people planning business meetings. Here are just a few reasons to head south for that next business trip.
• The cities: Mexico’s three largest cities—Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey—are major economic hubs for the entire nation, with major corporate offices, educational institutions and infrastructure. Plus, these bustling urban centers have sophisticated dining, shopping, hotels and museums, so business travelers will find lots to do with their free time.
• The meetings facilities: Mexico is dotted with an increasing number of modern, 21st-century meetings and convention facilities, such as the Expo Bancomer Santa Fe, in one of Mexico City’s hottest neighborhoods for business travelers and luxury hotel fans (the Distrito Capital and JW Marriott Mexico City Santa Fe are among the newest—and coolest—hotels here).
Even resort destinations excel at providing well-equipped meeting space. Among the newest offerings is the Los Cabos Convention Center, which made headlines when it opened in 2012 and hosted the G20 Summit of world leaders. Also new is the Expo, a large convention center with more than 355,000 square feet of meeting space in Acapulco’s Mundo Imperial complex.
U.S.-based meeting planners take note: Mexico has eliminated the 15-percent Value Added Tax (VAT) that is usually applied to the sale of goods and services. That can make meeting in Mexico an even more appropriate proposition.
• The hotels: Mexico’s hotels are legendary with both business and leisure travelers, thanks to the wide variety of sizes, styles and prices, in a diverse array of destinations. In Guadalajara, new business-friendly hotel choices include the 550-room Riu Plaza Guadalajara, which has nearly 50,000 square feet of meeting space, and the 221-room Westin Guadalajara, which accommodates up to 200 people for meetings. In Mexico City, new properties include the 160-room Le Meridien Mexico City and the 756-room Hyatt Regency Mexico City.
Mexico’s travel and tourism industries are gearing up for their own major annual meet-and-greet: the Tianguis Turístico, a national tourism conference that takes place in March, this year in the city of Puebla. Business travelers and meeting planners will surely find out even more travel news during that convention.
Mark Chesnut is a travel writer, editor and publisher of LatinFlyer.com, which focuses on travel to Latin America. He’s a big Mexico-phile.