Mexico to launch major tourism ad blitz

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MEXICO CITY, Mexico -- The Mexico Tourist Promotion Board in October will launch a major tourism advertising blitz that its creators are calling unprecedented for its inclusion of the country's varying destinations and tourism suppliers.

Scheduled to launch the first week in October on national cable networks like CNN and the Travel Channel, the campaign will carry the tagline "Discover the Many Moods of Mexico."

The campaign will kick off with an initial budget of approximately $10 million, although officials are looking to secure another $5 million to finance the entire push through March, 2001.

Officials said a "significant" portion of the campaign's budget will be derived from the $15 Mexico Visitor Entry Fee imposed last year on tourists. Airline travelers pay the fee when they purchase tickets.

The campaign will include four-color print ads in major daily newspapers, travel trade journals, and travel and specialty magazines that will run concurrently with the TV spots.

In addition, a Web site scheduled for launch in mid-October, www.visitmexico.com, will educate browsers about the country's tourism offerings and include links to participating travel suppliers. The site will include dedicated sections for travel agents and meeting planners.

The effort also will include 30-second radio spots, although those won't kick off until early next year.

An executive with Orlando, Fla-based Yesawich, Pepperdine and Brown, the advertising agency that created the campaign on behalf of the Consejo de Promocion Turistica de Mexico, the country's tourist promotion board, called the campaign unprecedented for the size of its budget and the scope of its cooperative approach.

"The centerpiece of the campaign is that Mexico is a very diverse county," said Miguel Poplawsky, executive vice president, Latin America division. "We're saying 'not only are there many different destinations within Mexico, but many different niche market travel possibilities.'"

Among the niche markets targeted by the campaign will be adventure travelers, honeymooners, visitors interested in Mexican heritage and culture, gastronomes and business travelers, Poplawsky said.

Although he didn't reveal the names of suppliers, Poplawsky said the campaign will be a "major cooperative effort" with participation from regional governments, hotel chains, airlines, tour operators and credit card companies, among others.

He said the campaign also may include a nationally syndicated one-hour radio show in English that would promote Mexican tourism and "appeal to the public's growing fascination with Latin music and culture."

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