Mexico seeks to export Magic Towns program

By Valeria Bigurra Peñavera

Mexico’s Secretariat of Tourism held a seminar on the “Magic Towns” program, attended by tourism heads from Bolivia, Guatemala, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay, in order to “export” this program which has yielded so many benefits for this sector.

The Secretariat of Tourism (SECTUR), headed by Claudia Ruiz Massieu, hosted the seminar "Experience Sharing: Magical Towns" from August 3 to 7, in order to share the success of this Mexican program with countries from Central and South America.

The seminar was held with the heads of tourism of Bolivia, Guatemala, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay, with the aim of “exporting” the program to other countries, since it has brought important benefits to towns that have qualified.

Mexico currently has 103 cities which have qualified as part of the “Magical Towns” program, which was introduced in 2001. This designation is granted when a town meets certain characteristics that make it “magical”; it must have its own legends, history, important events and certain cultural manifestations that can be exploited by the tourism sector.

Towns that do qualify are entitled to federal assistance for subterranean cabling, restoration of historic buildings and the recovery of designated green areas, among other benefits.

The Magic Towns program has managed to reassess Mexican culture, providing visitors – domestic and international – with the opportunity to learn more about one of the most fascinating aspects of Mexico: its history.

seminarios pueblos magicos

Image: Press Release 143/2015

According to a press release issued by SECTUR, the head of International Affairs and Cooperation, Javier Esteban Guillermo Molina, welcomed the guests, who conducted field trips to Cuetzalan, Zacatlán and Chignahuapan in the state of Puebla, in order to assess the benefits and development locations obtained after receiving the designation.

The Magic Towns program has been so successful that even last year Spain decided to adopt it, in order to promote some of its own towns.

The seminar helped promote dialogue between the representatives of the attending countries in order to exhibit, export, position and consolidate SECTUR programs.

Along with this event, a working table took place between Mexican and Guatemalan representatives, where they shared the experiences and best practices in the Programs and Quality Systems and Certification of both countries.

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