Mexico Mexican president’s new tourism policy emphasizes safety By Gay Nagle Myers / March 05, 2013 Share 1 -- The success of Mexico’s new national tourism policy hinges on creating a safe environment for visitors and improving public safety, according to President Enrique Pena Nieto. “It is essential to offer tourists, both domestic and foreign, a safe environment, and we will continue to work on improving public safety,” he said at the unveiling of his tourism policy during a recent speech to state and government officials on the Riviera Nayarit. To strengthen the tourism sector, “it is time to consolidate and build on the tourism capital we already have and focus on modernizing and revitalizing our existing destinations,” Pena Nieto said. “We will open Mexico to the world, and the world will visit Mexico,” he said. “Tourism is a fundamental component of our economy and a key driver of national development.”While tourism is a key strategic sector for national development, accounting for close to 9% of Mexico’s annual gross domestic product, he pointed out that “the tourism sector still has enormous potential for growth. It is necessary to create a synergy between the private sector and government to enhance that sector for our country’s economic development.”With Mexico’s large stock of cultural, natural and historical attractions, coupled with its geographic connections, access and connectivity, “Mexico has everything it needs to become a global tourism power,” the president said. “We want to be a world-class destination.”His tourism master plan is based on four guidelines. The first, legislative and sectorial transformation, will include improved decision-making to ensure the implementation of various programs to boost tourism. To that end, Pena Nieto created and will head a select tourism committee, which will coordinate government efforts “to align the policy of the federal government with the efforts of the various states of the country,” he said. The aim of his second guideline, innovation and competitiveness, is to diversify Mexico’s tourism products to leverage its attractions in the global marketplace. “We want to specialize in six segments: sun and beach tourism; cultural tourism; ecotourism and adventure tourism; health tourism; sports tourism; and special-interest or luxury tourism,” he said.Pena Nieto intends to create a national tourism certification system to ensure the quality of tourist services “because to be successful, we will have to compete on the basis of the quality of services offered by our country.”Development and promotion, the third guideline, is crucial to building and strengthening “the confidence of investors in our country,” according to Pena Nieto.“Mexico will be projected to the whole world, but we must also project an image of reliability, infrastructure, modernity and of the various services offered today to international tourism,” he said.The fourth guideline of the national tourism policy is sustainability and social benefit, which means creating policies and launching initiatives to ensure that tourism in Mexico is “a clean industry that cares for and preserves our natural heritage, history and culture,” Pena Nieto said.Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.