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Acapulco 2015: The Comeback Year

03/05/2015 04:52 EST | Updated 05/05/2015 05:59 EDT

Acapulco is Mexico's largest beach-resort destination, and after a few years of declining tourism numbers, this year the city is inviting the world back to visit and experience all the new developments and offerings that are underway.

Pedro Haces Sordo, President of the Acapulco Destination Marketing Office said "Our vision is for Acapulco to continue being a top-of-mind destination for global travelers. This year, our efforts will be focused on increasing the demand for the destination, while highlighting its tourism offerings through a variety of experiences, activities and events. We have planned an exciting agenda for travelers, including the Mexican Tennis Open coming up on February 23th and highly-anticipated concerts at the modern Mundo Imperial Forum.

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New for 2015

A new air terminal, expected to receive one million passengers annually, will increase Acapulco's air connectivity for the U.S. and Canada markets. The first phase of the airport will be completed by March 2015 and the final phase by 2016. This year also marks the return of 10 cruises from Norwegian Cruise line to Acapulco, and five ships for Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.

Approximately $200 million pesos (USD $20 million) are being invested in the renovation of infrastructure in the main tourist zone in downtown Acapulco, including the completion of the Escenica Avenue and a Macrotunnel, which will connect the Navy Base-Playa Icacos to the Diamond Zone. The renovation is slated to be completed by March 2015. This most recent investment in Acapulco is slated for Recovery of the Traditional Zone, a celebrated neighborhood in Acapulco that is home to the legendary La Quebrada cliff divers, the famous Hotel Flamingos and the retro-chic Hotel Boca Chica.

This was a joint investment between Mexico's Federal Government and the Advisory Council, which is an initiative of private investors, including Carlos Slim and Miguel Alemán in order to promote the development of Acapulco. Renowned Mexican entrepreneur Slim was also appointed Chairman of the new Advisory Council, whose main objective is to protect, restore and revitalize this important area of Acapulco

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As well, El Zócalo, Caleta y Caletilla, La Roqueta, and La Diana are being improved. In Caleta y Caletilla, a bridge will be constructed extending to the pier and plaza incorporating Acapulco's tropical concept. The Glorieta de La Diana will be adorned with sculptures and dancing fountains.

The sidewalks in the downtown area have been made wider to accommodate visitors in wheelchairs and to support the new destination-wide transportation system, ACABus, which provides service from the Traditional Zone to the Diamante Zone.

Accommodations Update

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The new 814-room Mundo Imperial hotel, located in the tourist area of Acapulco Diamante, opened its doors in September 2014 with 400 suites, and the remaining 400 suites will open soon. The resort is the latest addition to EXPO Mundo Imperial Complex. The Complex includes entertainment venues, a convention center, shops, a spa, and a state-of-the-art concert hall (Forum). The hotel's investment totaled 4,000 million pesos.

Grupo Posada is investing $85 million dollars in the construction of a new Fiesta Americana Grand in Acapulco's Diamante Zone. The hotel will have 350 luxury rooms, three themed pools, meeting spaces and four specialty restaurants.

Some of Acapulco's legendary hotels have invested in extensive renovation projects over the last few years. These hotels are some of the most recognized in Acapulco, offering travelers a glimpse into the destination's famous history while enjoying the modern updates and amenities offered. These include Hotel Boca Chica from trend-setting Mexican hotelier Grupo Habita, and Hotel Encanto which re-opened in February 2013.

Acapulco is home to some of the world's most exclusive hotels. The Banyan Tree Cabo Marques, for example, was featured on Conde Nast's 2014 Gold List. The Banyan Tree, along with Hotel Las Brisas Acapulco and the Grand Mayan Acapulco hold the AAA's top recognition, Four and Five Diamond Awards. The U.S News & World Report also named Banyan Tree Cabo Marques as one of 2014's best hotels in Mexico.

Future projects include the creation of a Center for Biodiversity, a recreation center for the Caleta and Caletilla beach areas, inclusive of an entertainment center, movie theatre, gourmet market and traditional 'zocalo' as well as an outdoor shopping plaza.

The Sun-Triangle initiative strives to highlight the greatest assets offered in Acapulco, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Taxco, from the rich cultural offers to the near-perfect weather and "365 days of Sun" guarantee. The Sun Triangle was an initiative launched by the State of Guerrero's former Governor, Angel Aguirre Rivero. The campaign featured an extensive digital and social media strategy, which included the launch of a new website available in three languages that offered travelers user-friendly tools for trip planning, such as a reservations page, calendar of events, promotions, etc. The first phase of the initiative was to showcase Guerrero's tourist destinations, and the second phase is to highlight each destination's differentiators.

Safety Update

Guerrero Seguro is a program led by the Guerrero State and the Mexican Federal Government. One of the initiatives that have taken place in Acapulco this year is the launch of training programs for the State Police and Public Safety accreditation. A new Federal Police force called the Gendarmerie has begun its work in the Acapulco area. Acapulco is one of the first zones to receive this kind of government police, facilitated and trained by the Federal Government. There's also a tourist hotline (1-800-008-8700) associated with the Offices of the Secretary of Tourism and the State of Guerrero that provides local assistance to all domestic and international travelers year round.

As well, The Tourist Assistance and Protection Center is an office that coordinates logistics in tourism security, by providing:

1. Police assistance

2. Emergency assistance for natural disasters, accidents, etc.

3. Consulate assistance

4. Medical care (first aid and help finding support for emergency care)

5. Links with lifeguards, Red Cross and civil protection

6. An area open to the public with information and guidance about tourism in Guerrero.

The office is being remodeled and is located in Acapulco's Zona Dorada (Av. Miguel Alem?n No. 38-A)

Tianguis Trade Show

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Acapulco is preparing to host the most important tourism event in Mexico, Tiaguis Turistico Mexico, attracting local and international tour operators, buyers, media, and the general public. This is a significant opportunity to impress thousands of individuals with influence within the travel industry, which will then result in increased travel to the region. Pedro Haces Sordo remarked, "We are particularly excited about hosting the 40th edition of Tianguis Turistico returning to Acapulco, with newly-implemented renovations, upcoming hotel openings, a new state-of-the-art airport terminal, and an attractive agenda of events, things are upswing in Acapulco."

The event takes place between March 23rd and 26th at Mundo Imperial Acapulco, presented in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and the Mexico Tourism Board.

Watch this tourism video, and get more information at Visit Mexico.