PHOTO: Acapulco, home of the Tianguis Turístico trade fair. (photo via Flickr/Prayitno)
Tropical weather, excellent beaches, championship golf, ecotourism, gastronomy—Acapulco’s selling points are many and varied.
During the recent Tianguis Turístico held in this seaside city, positive news came in flurries as the destination timed its announcements and unveilings to coincide with Mexico’s largest tourism trade show, now in its 42nd year.
Always a top destination for Mexican travelers, Acapulco's comeback with North American travelers is in full swing and it has been heavily investing in upgrading its infrastructure and adding new attractions and hotels.
The first of two big infrastructure projects is the construction of a new Macrotunnel set to open in the second half of 2017. It connects the area of Playa Icacos to the Diamond Zone (newly baptized as the Riviera Diamante).
The second major project is the construction of a new eco-friendly airport terminal, to be located next to the current one. It will nearly double the airport’s current facilities and allow for separate arrival and departure facilities, easing operations and increasing passenger flow.
The design will also add modern amenities, technology and services to boost passenger comfort. By the time it’s opened in early 2018, it will have the capacity to welcome 1.3 million passengers.
Connectivity has long been an issue with the destination, but that is about to change for the better as well.
“Acapulco has an executive connectivity committee in place that includes airport operator OMA (Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte), the maritime center and hotel managers completely dedicated to improving connectivity,” said Abraham Garay Velazquez, General Director of the Acapulco Destination Marketing Office.
“We’re negotiating a Chicago-Acapulco flight with United—that’s still in the works. With Volaris, we’re also looking into the possibility of either a Los Angeles-Acapulco flight or a Chicago-Acapulco. They’re studying the market to see which one is more viable.”
“The same executive committee is focusing on cruises as well,” said Piquis Rochin, International Promotions Manager for the office. At the moment, Acapulco is receiving a total of 10 more cruise ships this year than last, a 64 percent increase over last season.”
Currently, the following nine cruise lines operate in Acapulco: Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas, V-Ships, Silversea, Oceania Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Global, Saga and Hapag Lloyd.
The destination recently debuted their ACABus system, public buses that provide transportation for tourists and locals from the Traditional Zone to the Diamond Zone, but the biggest news is the inauguration of the XTASEA, the world’s largest over-the-ocean zip line, spanning over a mile long over the Bay of Puerto Marques, reaching 75 mph at an altitude of 328 feet.
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This is only one of 20 projects under the “Master Plan” by Grupo Autofin, one of Mexico’s most important investors, which will also include renovations of the iconic Pierre Mundo Imperial and Princess Mundo Imperial, as well as a Spa Tlalli, Turtle Dunes Golf Clubhouse, Gourmet Beach, Hotel Prince by Mundo Imperial, Hotel Marqués Boutique, Residences and Luxury Condominiums, Hotel Boutique Only You, Diamante Retirement Homes, Princess Medical Center, Premium Shopping Center, an eco-amusement park called Aventura Guerrero, a new tennis stadium, security towers, and Princess University.
The completion dates for these projects are all between 2017 and 2022.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel on Costera Miguel Aleman Avenue began a $8.5 million-dollar renovation to be executed within the next two years. The project consists of the remodeling of its event spaces, guest rooms, public areas, modernization of elevators, state-of-the-art technology.
The occupancy rate in Acapulco has never been higher, and the strong cooperation between investors, local government, hotels and tourism service providers, combined with the striking natural beauty of the region and its legendary service is the perfect recipe for a brilliant comeback.