Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Fri August 12 2016

Mazatlan Midyear Report Shows Healthy Boost In Visitor Arrivals

Destination & Tourism | Dawna L. Robertson | August 12, 2016

Mazatlan Midyear Report Shows Healthy Boost In Visitor Arrivals

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Mazatlan remains on track to exceed its visitor arrival tally for 2015, with tallies to the “Colonial City on the Beach” reflecting the arrival of 733,853 visitors from January through May 2016. According to the Mazatlan Tourism Board (MTB), that number indicates an increase of 8.8 percent above 2015 figures for the same period.

Julio Birrueta, MTB’s director of tourism, attributes much of that momentum to the destination’s increased airlift and cruise calls in 2016. In a third consecutive year of growth, cruise arrivals are up from 35 ships in 2015 to 93 this year. Joining that upward trend, hotel occupancy is witnessing an increase of 59 percent above numbers presented for the same period in 2015.

Birrueta notes that renovations and new development are helping to keep the destination fresh. “The Mazatlan International Center will undergo a light refurbishing for one month during the first quarter of 2017 to ensure that the convention center is maintained to our highest standards,” he said.

“And the former 65-room Hotel Central in the Historic District will continue renovations over the next two months for a more boutique hotel appeal.” Upon completion, the property will be renamed The Inn at Historic District. The 120-room Caravelle Hotel will also receive a new moniker when it completes a 12-month upgrade project.

Mazatlan is also in the process of completing the extensive Playa Espiritu resort development project on approximately nine square miles of coastal property some 50 miles south of Downtown Mazatlan. The massive undertaking will ultimately deliver 100 hotels totaling 44,000 rooms, beaches, convention and entertainment spaces, retailers and golf courses.

READ MORE: Five Reasons to Visit Mazatlan

“Restaurant investment has also increased dramatically, with more than 30 restaurants opening during the last year – including Casa 46, additional outposts of The Fish Market, El Muchacho Alegre, Life en Espanol, La Esquina 84, La Corteza and more,” Birrueta said.

No doubt that Mazatlan’s colorful calendar of events and festivals will further elevate its visitor count for the balance of 2016.

Among these is Mazatlan’s two-day “Dia De Los Muertos” – or Day of the Dead –that lets visitors witness a unique Mexican cultural experience that has been celebrated for thousands of years. On Nov. 1 and 2, the city and especially its Machado Square are taken over by skeleton masks and orange marigolds to honor the dead through parades, music, performances and treats.

From October to December, the Mazatlan Cultural Festival lauds Mazatlan's inspiring cultural heritage and effervescence through music, theater, dance, ballet, song, literature and visual arts. Some 60 percent of the events are offered free to the local community and visitors.

From Oct. 27-30, the Second Edition of the CULINARY ROOTS Gastronomic Forum will showcase the destination’s culinary richness. Among 12 international chefs participating are Chad White, Antonio de Livier, Gerardo Rivera, Karl Greg, Nate Appleman, Silvano de Paola and Dante Ferrero. 

For the remainder of 2016, Birrueta says that the MTB will focus on increased airlift from priority feeder markets across Canada, the U.S. and key Mexico markets. 

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