CANCUN -- Mexico's top beach resort aims to enhance its image as a
multifaceted destination with a newly launched U.S. marketing
The Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau is spearheading the
$2.2 million initiative, the main elements of which are Cancun
University, an education program for travel agents; a new logo and
slogan for the destination; a fresh advertising campaign; a
toll-free destination line, and an internet site.
"We want to become much
more aggressive in marketing to the U.S., which represents 71% of
our visitor arrivals," said Jose Gonzalez Zapata, president of the
According to Zapata, the long-term campaign will focus on
positioning Cancun as an ideal beach resort that also offers a
wealth of archaeological, ecological and adventurous options.
"We are promoting Cancun as a multifaceted destination that has
nice beaches with clear water, good hotels, shopping malls,
restaurants, Mayan culture and natural attractions," Zapata
Activities such as exploring the archaeological ruins of Tulum
and Chichen Itza are being highlighted, as well as adventurous
options, including visiting the interior of the jungle, horseback
riding, cave diving and swimming in underground rivers, according
Much of the campaign's efforts will focus on the many new
options the destination offers, he added.
Among the offerings scheduled to be unveiled are additional
hotels such as Le Meridien Cancun, a 218-room property scheduled to
open in October, and Royal Sands, which is set to be completed next
Moon Palace resort also is expanding with additional guest
rooms, scheduled to be finished by December, he said.
On the attractions side, Xpuha, an ecological park, is under
construction and expected to debut by December. Zapata said with
areas of beaches, wildlife and a variety of flora, Xpuha will be
similar in its offerings to Xcaret, which features swimming and
snorkeling in coves and inlets, dolphins and Mayan ruins.
Xpuha will be located roughly 50 miles south of Cancun on the
Zapata also said Cancun is home to new restaurants and shopping
Under the marketing program, a logo and slogan was created --
"Cancun: The Magic Word" -- which is being used in an advertising
campaign that includes radio spots and print ads in consumer and
The advertising campaign is scheduled to run for one year.
Zapata said the Cancun CVB mainly is targeting the U.S. markets
of New York (and the East Coast) and Chicago as well as cities in
Florida, Texas and California. Aside from the advertising effort,
the CVB set up a toll-free line -- (800) CANCUN-8 -- for agents and
consumers wishing to receive information on Cancun.
Cancun's Internet site, to be located at www.gocancun.com, is
expected to be up and running within four to six weeks, Zapata
said. The site will augment Cancun's existing presence on the Net,
which consists of a page on the Mexico Ministry of Tourism's site,
located at www.mexico-travel.com.
Zapata said the CVB is optimistic that the increased efforts to
spotlight Cancun will result in even more U.S. visitor traffic.
In 1997, approximately 2.7 million visitors came to Cancun.
Zapata said the CVB is projecting an increase of 8% in visitor
arrivals for 1998.
Aside from a cooperative presence at trade shows, the Cancun
CVB's marketing push will not include the new tourist zones of the
Riviera Maya and Costa Maya south of Cancun, or Cozumel, all of
which are creating separate campaigns, Zapata added.