There's no doubt that tourism to Mexico is booming. While a huge boost in airline connectivity is helping stimulate visitation numbers, also driving that growth is an inexhaustible list of international hoteliers that are introducing new projects throughout the nation, as they strive to capitalize on Mexico's picture-perfect beaches, colonial cities and warm hospitality.
"Mexico continues to welcome new hotel brands and new construction with an eye towards every kind of tourist, from the more price-conscious visitor to the luxury traveler-investments that underline its status as one of the top tourism players on the international stage," said Lydia Gregory, Managing Editor-Mexico for travAlliancemedia.
Dive deeper, and you'll see that many international hoteliers are not just expanding in Mexico but are also introducing their top-shelf luxury brands around the country. Waldorf Astoria, Montage, Ritz-Carlton, Grand Velas and Le Blanc are just a few of the luxury properties on tap to open in Mexico this year.
In Los Cabos, for example, eighty percent of all hotel rooms are now located in four- or five-star hotels.
While all that luxury is good news for the destinations hosting these iconic brands, it could also be a concerning trend for travelers who are planning to vacation on a stricter budget.
Still, Mexico's popularity spurt is also driving at least one company to expand its mid-scale offerings.
InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) just announced that it has started seeking franchising partnerships in Mexico for its newest flag, avid hotels, which the company first introduced last September.
Coupled with the successful growth of IHG's other mid-scale brands, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites in Mexico, IHG is clearly seeking a lock on Mexico's mid-scale traveler.
"[Launching] avid hotels reinforces IHG's leadership position in this market," said Jorge Apaez, Chief Operating Officer, Mexico, Latin America & the Caribbean, IHG. "The company currently has 140 hotels open in Mexico and an additional 31 in the pipeline, and with the launch of avid hotels, IHG is further demonstrating its commitment to continued growth in Mexico alongside our franchisees."
While avid is a relatively new concept, IHG already has 75 signed franchise agreements throughout the U.S. and Canada, and IHG sees this high interest as a yardstick for success in Mexico.
"Since IHG announced this new brand last fall, we have heard from many franchisees across Mexico who are excited to add an avid hotels property to their portfolio," said German Ongay, Regional Vice President, Franchise Sales & Development, Mexico IHG. "We are excited to introduce this new brand to the Mexican market."
For travelers unfamiliar with avid, the new brand promises, "the basics done exceptionally well-at a price point expected to be about 10-15 percent less than IHG's industry-leading Holiday Inn Express brand."
Features that will be common to all avid properties will be red stairwells used as eye-catching architectural features; vibrant, open public spaces and work areas; and complimentary grab-and-go breakfasts. Technology, of course, will drive at least part of the guestroom experience, including an in-room entertainment system that allows guests to view their smart device content on the in-room television. Loyalty members will not only enjoy free Wi-Fi but will also be remembered and automatically connected to the system on future visits.
The first avid hotels property is expected to open in the third quarter of this year in Oklahoma.
Although IHG is staying mum on whether they already have any signed avid deals in Mexico in the pipeline, the company is offering Mexican hoteliers bonus incentives for completing an agreement by September 30 of this year.
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