Riviera Nayarit touts its upscale attributes

By Gay Nagle Myers
The Riviera Nayarit, a 192-mile stretch of coastline running north from Nuevo Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific coast, is marketing itself as an upscale region with numerous high-end branded properties as well as boutique hotels, according to Marc Murphy, director of the Riviera Nayarit Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“More than 70% of our 15,000 hotel rooms are in AAA Three Diamond and above properties, and more are coming online this year and next,” Murphy said. “We are high-end but still affordable, and we are reaching out to the U.S. market in particular.”

Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera NayaritClose to 30% of the region’s visitors are from the U.S., but “that market has not fully rebounded to the 2007 figures. It’s been a slow growth process, and it’s difficult to forecast 2013,” Murphy said.

Property updates include the reopening last winter of the all-inclusive, 270-room Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta, the former Allegro Nuevo Vallarta; a recent renovation of the 173 rooms and suites at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita; the addition of 56 suites by the end of the year at La Tranquilia in Punta Mita; the reopening of the reflagged Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, the former Vallarta Palace in Nuevo Vallarta; and the 2013 opening of the 450-room Iberostar property in the Litibu planned development near Punta Mita.

The 422-room Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa completed a $30 million renovation, including guestrooms, the addition of a third restaurant, an expanded spa, disco and kids’ club.

“Our strategies in the last few years have been to concentrate on events, media trips and bringing agents down to the region,” Murphy said. “The Riviera Nayarit is a place that you have come here and live it to appreciate it.”

The CVB has introduced an online specialist Travel Agent Training TAT program. “We work with approximately 5,200 agents, primarily U.S. agents, and we want to keep them updated with our products, events and hotel happenings,” he said.

The CVB also wants to move further into the wedding and honeymoon markets as well as the meetings segment.
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