Tijuana reaches across border for visitors

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Tijuana last week launched a tourism campaign in neighboring San Diego, despite the continuing drug-related violence in the Mexican border city.

The campaign, "120 Things to Do in Tijuana," marks the city’s upcoming 120th anniversary on July 11. Tijuana tourism officials chose to announce the campaign in San Diego because Tijuana has traditionally been a popular weekend destination for Californians.

"We want to show people how Tijuana is growing and invite visitors to come and experience ... its fun side as well as our hospitality, culture and culinary offerings," said Jose Avelar, vice president of the Tijuana Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Among the 120 promoted activities are visiting one of Tijuana’s art galleries, eating at one of the city’s restaurants and duty-free shopping.

The list, along with testimonials from recent Tijuana visitors and an events calendar, can be found at www.120thingstodointijuana.org. The city is inviting visitors to visit the site and contribute their testimonials about visiting Tijuana.

The campaign comes as tourism officials in Tijuana and the Baja California region battle a downturn in visitors due to drug violence that claimed 843 lives in Tijuana last year alone. The violence prompted the U.S. State Department to issue a travel alert last month warning Americans about the potential dangers in border towns.

"There are so many wonderful things that visitors can do in our city, particularly in the safe downtown tourist district," said Ana Alicia Meneses, president of the Tijuana CVB.


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