Mexico Seeks to Ramp Up Tourism By Rebranding Drug War

Bill Conroy
Narco News
May 21, 2013


Hospitality Industry, War on Drugs Can Be Complimentary Businesses

Mexico Drug War Tourism PR Cartels Propaganda Pena NietoThe Mexican government under recently empowered President Enrique Peña Nieto has gone to great lengths to promote the nation as a rising economic contender while downplaying the disastrous war on drugs — which, to date, has led to more than 125,000 homicides in Mexico since the bloodshed began to escalated in late 2006.

From the vantage point of the Mexican citizens, this public relations campaign must appear a sham, since much of the nation still lives below the poverty line and the carnage in the war on drugs is ongoing.

However, for public officials, lenders and private developers benefiting from the tourism market, the scheme makes economic sense and promises to keep Mexico’s beach-front hotel communities filled with fun-loving US tourists.

But those US tourists might want to have a second look at the stakes for them. Numbers released recently by the US Department of State show that it is actually more likely that a US citizen will meet an untimely death as a result of tourist-related activity in Mexico than due to its drug war — though both contributed to nearly 1,200 US citizen deaths in Mexico between 2007-2012.

PR Spin

The Riviera Nayarit is a nearly 200-mile-long strip of coastal tourist paradise that stretches from Playa Novilleros to Nuevo Vallarta in the Mexican state of Nayarit — located south of the states of Sinaloa, Durango and Zacatecas and north of the state of Jalisco on Mexico’s West Coast.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in Riviera Nayarit since 2007 to make it a premier tourist destination. Part of that effort includes marketing and public relations.

Toward that end, the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau along with the Bahia de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association have retained US-based M. Silver Associates Inc., part of the Ruder Finn Group, to promote Riviera Nayarit — in the US and Canada in particular.

M. Silver filed its marketing plan for the Mexican resort mecca in March 2013 with the Department of Justice per the requirements of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

“The five year anniversary of Riviera Nayarit, 2012, brought significant opportunities to the destination — Tianguis, several major television shows and the second Extravaganza Nautica,” M. Silver Associates states in the introduction to its marketing plan for Riviera Nayarit. “All of this was needed to bring Riviera Nayarit further into the forefront as a premier destination.

“2013 marks new opportunities for Riviera Nayarit — the U.S. State Department warning for travel to Mexico has been removed for Riviera Nayarit and other Mexican destinations and the economy is improving. The Mexican market grew in the last few years, the Canadian market remained fairly steady and the U.S. market is ready to come back to Mexico.

Read the full article—Mexico Seeks to Ramp Up Tourism By Rebranding Drug War