Despite the numbers, Puerto Vallarta is Mexico's New Spring Break Hotspot
Despite intimidating travel warnings issued by the United States urging spring breakers to avoid Mexico, student travel to the land of tequila and tacos is on the rise. A release from Mexico's Ministry of Tourism reports that nearly 77,000 spring breakers visited Mexico this year, which is a 7.2 percent surge from the year before. The majority of these travelers spent their time off in the traditional spring-break-hotspot of Cancun and the Riviera Maya, but it's a much lesser known spring break city that's been making some serious waves.
The coastal city of Puerto Vallarta and its sister city to the north, Nuevo Vallarta, welcomed more than 15,000 tourists during the spring break season this year - an increase of 7.3 percent from the year before. Without question, an important contributor to 2012's success was, a first of its kind, forty-two night electronic dance music experience that was held throughout the major nightclubs of Puerto Vallarta.
For six weeks straight, a line up of more than twenty of the world's biggest DJs (including the international icon DJ Tiesto) rocked crowds of Electro Beachers and local fans into the early hours of the morning. According to David Carlson, Director of Operations at (the promotional company behind Electro Beach), this first Electro Beach event was a smashing success. Carlson commented, "The first year was great. We had to overcome some obstacles along the way, but, overall, Electro Beach 2012 was definitely a hit. In addition to our spring breakers, the local turnout was amazing, by the end of the first week we had established a promotions team made up of local students, just like we have located across our markets in the U.S., who were all out promoting the shows and selling pre-sale tickets.”
When it came to choosing the location for Electro Beach, Carlson notes that Puerto Vallarta was the obvious choice: "Puerto Vallarta is the crown jewel of Mexico in every sense. There is something for everyone in PV, whether you want to stay secluded in a private villa, party it up at the night clubs, or have some great family time in the downtown area, it's the perfect place to be. The people, the environment, and the culture all led to our decision to hold Electro Beach in PV instead of anywhere else." Carlson also added that Electro Beach 2013 is already in the works and will definitely be held once again in Puerto Vallarta - only this time, "it will be even bigger and better!"
The Prime Social Group aren't the only ones enthralled by Puerto Vallarta. The movie makers at Irreversible Cinema have chosen Puerto Vallarta as the setting for their new spring break comedy currently titled "I Brake for Gringos: Puerto Vallarta." According to the film's Facebook page, the story is a "coming of age comedy about two young high school kids caught up in crazy adventures when they travel to Puerto Vallarta for the most memorable Spring Break of their lives."
When asked about how Puerto Vallarta was chosen over more traditional spring break locations like Cancun, one of the film's producers Pablo Lebrija remarked, "I've been visiting Puerto Vallarta since I was eight years old, and I know very well that the city has huge potential not just in terms of tourism but also in terms of a filming location. The entire state of Jalisco is very accommodating with projects like these and Salvador Gonzalez Resendiz, Vallarta's mayor, met with our director three years ago to discuss the project and was very encouraging. We knew the city of Puerto Vallarta was committed to supporting the project when it came to permits, closing streets for filming, etc, so it was an easy choice."
The cast of I Brake for Gringos: Puerto Vallarta includes the internationally acclaimed actor Jordi Mollà (Bad Boys II, Blow, Colobiana) as well as a crew of some of the industry's most attractive up-and-comers including Camille Belle (10,000 BC). Set for release in the Spring of 2013, the film is sure draw even more spring breakers to Puerto Vallarta in the future. Lebrija acknowledged this and commented, "I Brake for Gringos will be an international release and the city of Puerto Vallarta plays such a great part in the film that it's basically another character. There will be no doubt where this film was shot."
With the success of events like Electro Beach and the international exposure from projects like I Brake for Gringos: Puerto Vallarta, it seems inevitable that PV (as many locals call it) is destined to become a younger city. For a beach town heavily populated by an older crowd (Puerto Vallarta was recently selected as the number one place to retire by the AARP, an influx of younger money could become a welcome boost to the local economy. With the city’s first class nightclubs, its bustling and historic downtown, its abundance of incredible resorts and villas, and its unquestionable commitment to safety, its safe to say that Puerto Vallarta is ready to party.