Merida’s San Ildefonso Cathedral at sunrise. Photo: Deposit Photos

By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS

After nearly two years of lockdowns and covid-19 social-distancing restrictions, Mexico is ready to reopen its doors to national and international travel wholesalers in its 45th annual Tourism Tiangüis next month in the southeastern state of Yucatán, federal Tourism (Sectur) Secretary Miguel Torruco Marqués announced last week.

And this year, Latin America’s most important travel wholesale market will be 100 percent face-to-face, under the highest sanitary standards endorsed by international organizations, he said, speaking during a press conference at the Hotel Habita in Mexico City.

“Yucatán is ready to show off part of its rich cultural and ecological heritage and its vast tourism opportunities to more than a thousand buyers from 41 different countries,” Torruco Marqués said.

The Tianguis, which will be held in the Yucatán capital, Mérida, known as the White City because of its stately alabaster buildings and ivory guayabera-clad gents, will take place from Tuesday, Nov. 16, through Friday, Nov. 19.

“We are doing everything possible to ensure that maximum covid-19 safety measures are in place so that everyone can enjoy this magnificent event without concern of infection,” added Yucatán Tourism Development Secretariat (Sefotur) Michelle Fridman Hirsch, who also spoke during the press conference.

Yucatán was originally slated to host the Tiangüis in 2020, but the travel trade fair was suspended because of covid concerns.

The state had even invested in the renovation of the fair’s venues: the Yucatán International Congress Center, where the official inauguration will take place, and the Yucatán Convention and Exhibition Center and the Great Maya World Museum.

“This Tourism Tianguis will be the most important ever because it will be a watershed in the recovery of the travel industry for all Mexican destinations after the covid-19 pandemic, a sort of tourism renaissance for the country,” said Fridman Hirsch.

In addition to more than 100 stands presenting Mexico’s main tourism offerings, the Tiangüis will include conferences, forums, exhibits, local handicraft displays and a gastronomic festival with 16 participating restaurants

To date, the Yucatán Tiangüis has confirmed the attendance of 1,252 buyers, 41 countries and 814 participating companies, Torruco Marqués said, adding that those numbers are expected to rise as the fair’s dates near.

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