Private businesses and governments must work together in order to maximize the potential of the travel and tourism industry. That’s the word from a variety of delegates speaking at the Americas Summit during the first part of a two-hour presentation called “Working Together for Jobs and… Growth.”
“Growth in the tourism economy is attributable in no small part to the private sectors,” said Zhu Shanzhong, vice chairman of the China National Tourism Administration. “The government and the private sector must make joint efforts.”
“What is economic is strategic and what is strategic is economic,” said Thomas Nides, deputy secretary of state for the United States of America, who also emphasized the importance of cooperation within the western hemisphere. “We’re all asking what we can do to harness the power of proximity,” he told delegates. “It’s clear that Travel &Tourism will be a critical part of the equation.”
Session moderator Kathleen Matthews, executive vice president of Marriott International, posed a number of questions to Nides regarding the nation’s visa process for foreign visitors. “We’re doing an enormous amount to make it simpler to visit the United States,” according to Nides, who noted a goal for the United States to attract 100 million annual international visitors by 2021. “We just changed the rules in China. If you have a valid visa, and you want to travel in the second year, you normally have to get in your car and get the visa. Now, you can renew your visa online.” Nides noted that new U.S. consulates and increased consular staff in China, Brazil and India have also helped to speed the visa process.
The visa situation also arose as an issue during a subsequent panel discussion with tourism officials. “We’d like to go for ‘no visa’ sometime in the future,” said Mari Elka Pangestu, Indonesia’s minister of tourism and creative economy, noting that the Asian region already allows travel without visa for its citizens. “Sharing databases would be a good way to progress.”
Government and the Private Sector
In the quest to grow Travel & Tourism, “one stumbling block is regulation,” according to Marthinus van Schalkwyk, South Africa’s minister of tourism, adding that public-private cooperation “shouldn’t be only a partnership on paper.”
HRH Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Asud, chairman of the board and president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, agreed. “Smart governments make it easy for the private sector,” he said.
Private-sector insiders weighed in during the following panel. “There are some governments leading the way and making long-term commitments to tourism,” said Tom Klein, president of Sabre Holdings.
“Let’s start with government positions related to the growth of our industry,” Klein said. “Are they erecting obstacles or tearing down barriers?” Progress has come from “having a single voice that calls for more from our government,” according to Klein, who noted that working together “has delivered some promising results” — including the first-ever national tourism strategy for the United States, embodied in the new Brand USA campaign.
Thorsten Kirschke, COO of Carlson Hotels and president of Carlson Hotels in Latin America, noted that governments play an important role in creating the infrastructure that allows Travel & Tourism to thrive. “You can have the most beautiful heritage site, but if that infrastructure is not developed, that makes it difficult to build hotels and grow in ‘nowhere-land,’” he said.
Kirk Kinsell, president for the Americas at IHG, noted that the private sector, in turn, helps to support local communities in a variety of ways. “A great deal of [hotel] ownership is by local families, local institutions,” he said. “When we open up the doors and attract people to Mexico — to Cancun or Los Cabos — eventually they’ll find their way into these little local communities, and that’s where we need to make sure they’re partnered up for a great guest experience.”
“I think the takeaway is that it’s important for us to participate in the dialogue,” said Jim Compton, executive vice president and chief revenue officer at United Airlines. “Nothing changes overnight. But when you lose consistency, you take two steps back.”
The Hyatt Hotel has long held a reputation of excellence for travelers around the world. Now, a new Hyatt Regency will be coming to Mexico City, and will be the fourth of its kind for the country. Hyatt will purchase the hotel – which is currently Hotel Nikko Mexico – from Japan-Mexico Hotel… Investment Co. for nearly $190 million.
With an upcoming $40 million renovation over the next three years, the hotel chain says that it hopes to reinforce the hotel as the preferred business and leisure hotel in Mexico City.
“Our strategic investment in this hotel, which has a highly visible presence in Mexico City, will increase awareness of Hyatt in Latin America and will support our long-term goal of becoming the most preferred hospitality company in every segment we serve,” said Steve Haggerty, Hyatt’s global head of real estate and development.
Hotel Nikko Mexico City is one of over thirty existing or planned Nikko Hotels across the world, and is currently the only one in Mexico. The luxury establishment holds 756 rooms, and will move to 734 rooms after Hyatt’s rebrand turns several existing rooms into suites.
Upon completion, the new Hyatt Mexico will offer amenities such as two signature Japanese restaurants, a three-meal restaurant and lobby bar, business center, fitness center, tennis courts and pool. With its new Hyatt Regency coming to the city, investors and citizens alike hope that this will bring an appreciated boost to Mexico City, as well as a draw to tourists around the world!
Puebla, Mexico, May 9, 2012 -- Mexican authorities launched the G20 Youth Summit (also known as the Y20 Summit), which looks to analyze the challenges that young people around the world will face and define solutions to these issues from a global perspective. …
Chancellor Patricia Espinosa Cantellano kicked off the forum at the William O. Jenkins Convention Center in Puebla and insisted that the participants focus on formulating proposals that address issues that will be discussed the G20 Summit.
She expressed her enthusiasm for the meeting, as it unites a vast multicultural mosaic of young people.
“The G20 is much more than an important global forum for addressing economic issues, it is also a process in the evolution of addressing social issues”, said the chancellor.
She highlighted that half of Mexico’s population – more than 50 million people – are under the age of 26, which reflects a young country that will have to face poverty, inequality, and lack of decent job opportunities.
At a global level, she said, an important percentage of the three million young people inhabiting the planet remain unemployed, which is why it is urgent to identify mechanisms, such as public policies, that permit their inclusion into the labor market.
On his end, Erick Clavel Benítez, president of the Planning Organization and a member of the Mexican Y20 Committee, emphasized that the national delegation will plan out realistic and concrete proposals for including all social sectors into an equitable growth dynamic.
Miguel Ángel Carreón, general director of the Mexican Youth Institute, stated that the global youth unemployment rate is over 12 percent, which is why their findings should not only foment the participation of the youth sector but also all social spheres to prevent the unemployment phenomenon.
On his end, poblano leader Rafael Moreno Valle emphasized the relevance of the forum, attributable to the discussion of issues such as youth employment, food security, and environmental policies, among others.
Throughout the Y20, each participating country has a delegation of seven college students and each group will work on developing a document addressing an economic and labor issue in the youth sector, which they will later present to their own government.
Siemens Mesoamerica, Unilever Personal Care, and the Coca-Cola Company agree that the Mexico economy has a growth market and that there is… constant opportunity to develop along with the country. Find out more by watching the MexicoToday video above.
As Mexico prepares to host the upcoming G-20 Summit in June, the Wilson Center in Washington, DC convened a panel of experts to identify and discuss several priority issues. These issues include the eurozone crisis, strengthening the global financial architecture, promoting sustainable development, and financial… inclusion. The distinguished panel was comprised of:
• Gerardo Rodríguez Regordosa – Undersecretary of Mexico’s Ministry of Finance and Public Credit
• Mark Sobel – Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Monetary and Financial Policy, US Department of Treasury
• Arturo Sarukhan – Mexico Institute, Advisory Board Member; Mexican Ambassador to the United States
• Andrés Rozental – Mexico Institute, Advisory Board Member; President, Rozental & Associates; Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
• Colin I. Bradford – Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development
• John W. Sewell – Senior Scholar Author, Former President of the Overseas Development Council (OCD)
The Group of Twenty, or G20, is the premier forum for international cooperation on the most important aspects of the international economic and financial agenda. It brings together the world’s major advanced and emerging economies. The G20 includes 19 country members and the European Union, which together represent around 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two-thirds of the world’s population.
On May 16-18, Mexico will host the Americas Summit of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) which will unite for the first time travel and tourism leaders from across the Western Hemisphere in Mexico's Riviera Maya. Industry representatives from the public and private sectors, NGOs and the… media will convene for a unique networking forum.
The event will be the first in a series of WTTC regional summits and will explore commonalities and challenges throughout the travel and tourism industry in the Americas while identifying opportunities for growth and collaboration. The Summit will attract delegates from across the Americas, including Central America, The Caribbean, South America and North America.
Speakers will include Ministers of Tourism from around the world including Secretary Gloria Guevara of Mexico; US Deputy Secretary of State, Thomas Nides; Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization; executives from hotels, airlines, tour operators and travel agencies; and key opinion leaders from the media such as CBS’ travel editor Peter Greenberg.
“Mexico is the perfect host for the Americas Summit,” said David Scowsill, president and CEO of the WTTC according to a recent Travel Daily News article. Scowsill added, “Mexico has rightly put Travel & Tourism at the heart of its economy as a generator of employment, export income and GDP. Holding the Americas Summit in Mexico just one month before the G20 meeting of world leaders will place Travel & Tourism among the most important topics being discussed in Los Cabos."
Mexico will also host the United Nations World Tourism Organization's T20 meeting of tourism ministers in the Mexican city of Merida on May 15-16.
IMPACT Silver Corp. ("IMPACT"), one of the more prosperous mining companies in Mexico, has recently announced additional high-grade silver values from the second phase of the drill program on the Oscar Project. Highlights include 1,875 g/t Silver across 1.00 meters and 115 g/t Silver across 23.39 meters. The second phase… of drilling has also successfully revealed wide zones of mineralization in these Mexican mines. The Oscar Project is located only 2.5 kilometers east of IMPACT'S Guadalupe processing plant in the Royal Mines of Zacualpan District of central Mexico, about 400 square kilometers. The announcement of the impressive results come on the heels of previously results from the Oscar Project, which included multiple intersections over 1,000 g/t Silver. IMPACT has over five years of consistently profitable operations, with 2011 being a record-breaking year for revenues and earnings, due in part to its success silver mines in Mexico. The IMPACT exploration team drilled two significant targets in the gold-rich Huatecosco trend (Mexico) in 2011, which will be assessed for potential development of gold mines in Mexico, among others.
Multinational companies have come to the conclusion that Mexico, with its risks and opportunities, is a 'very good place to be' compared to other countries around the world. Find out more by watching the MexicoToday video above.
Scotiabank is in 50 countries around the globe, making them one of the biggest retail, commercial, corporate, investment and international banking services in the world. Brian Porter, Group Head of International Banking, considers Mexico's economic profile very exciting and is so impressed,… Scotiabank employs 11,000 workers in the country to staff the demand. Porter explains that Scotiabank "feels very fortunate to be part of the building on the economic fabric of Mexico and the bright economic future."
Audi has recently announced plans to build an auto plant in Mexico in order to boost its sales to two million units/year by 2020. The plant, which is expected to start producing Audi SUV models in 2016, will be the third plant in Mexico built by parent company Volkswagen. The Chairman of the Board… of Management of AUDI AG, Rupert Stadler, explained the decision for Audi to invest nearly $2 billion in Mexico instead of the U.S., “As an established car-making location, Mexico offers an excellent economic basis for Audi production operations.”
As many global car manufacturers have come to realize, Mexico is one of the world’s top ten automotive manufacturing locations due to its long experience in the industry. For those consumers concerned about the quality of the vehicles made abroad, Audi has confirmed that manufacturing in Mexico will not harm its luxury brand status, with Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales for Audi AG going on to explain, “It will be possible to supply customers worldwide with cars built in Mexico to Audi’s renowned standard of quality.” Schwarzenbauer added: “In launching production operations in Mexico, Audi will enhance its own competitiveness and move significantly closer to its sales target of two million units per year by 2020.”
Emphasizing the importance of an international presence ‘for international success’, Stadler, AUDI AG’s Chairman of the Board of Management, shed light on Audi’s latest strategic move, stating, “Good infrastructure, competitive cost structures and existing free trade agreements played a significant role in the choice of Mexico. This trailblazing move will help us safeguard our position on the world market. Our German locations, too, stand to benefit from it.”
In recent times, there has been more and more evidence that Mexico is developing into an influential contender in the globally rising aerospace manufacturing… industry. Rolls-Royce, a power systems company providing services on land, sea, and air, has decided to open a new supply chain office in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico The office will be located in the northwestern part of Mexico at the Roca Fuerte Industrial Park (Parque Industrial Roca Fuerte). This area is in an emergent area for aerospace industries. Aerospace manufacturing has progressed significantly in the last decade and its development has become an important priority for the economic situation of Mexico. Auto companies from all over the world, for example, are migrating from all over to set up shop in Mexico.
The Executive Vice President of Supply Chain Management North America for Rolls-Royce, Beverly J. Gaskin commented on the new business venture by Rolls-Royce in Mexico. She stated, “Nearly a third of advanced manufacturing companies in the Mexican aerospace industry are based in the state of Sonora. Locating staff in the center of this cluster will help us improve supplier relationships and performance. Delivering excellence in our supply chain is critical in helping us meet our commitments to customers.”
Praxair Mexico, a subsidiary of the Fortune 300 Company and prevalent supplier of atmospheric and specialty gases, Praxair, recently signed a new agreement with principal Mexican steal company, Deacero. Praxair’s technological services, equipment, and gases help in the operation of many diverse… industries. Their services aid in the preservation of foods, in the production of computer parts, and in the recycling of contaminated water from waste.
In an impending project, Praxair Mexico will supply gases such as oxygen, argon, and nitrogen to a new innovative industrial plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. Ramos Arizpe is a very strategic location for the construction of the steel plant. It’s located in the apex of a booming industrial hub in Mexico. The plant will have a production capacity of 500 tons of steel per day and is expected to open its facilities in early 2014. Praxair will act as a principal force in the construction and maintenance of this new steel plant. Praxair, as a company, is dedicated to maintaining environmentally conscious business and production practices throughout all of their international ventures.
The General Director of Operations at Mexican steel production company, Deacero, David Gutierrez commented on their new partnership with Praxair. He stated, “We are happy to have Praxair as a key supplier to our new steel plant and look forward to a joint effort that results in innovative solutions and productivity gains that benefit both companies.” Murilo Melo, President and General Director of Praxair Mexico and Central America commented saying, “Praxair Mexico is proud to be awarded this new contract and is committed to providing Deacero and the Mexican market with cutting edge technology, high quality products and reliable world glass gas supply services in order to support its growth, productivity and environmental initiatives.”
As the cost of manufacturing in China continues to rise, companies in the U.S. and abroad are having to rethink their global strategies. As The Wall Street Journal article that ran earlier this year - titled “China’s Export Pain May be Mexico’s Gain” -would indicate,… companies that once flocked to China because of its massive pool of cheap labor and attractive government incentives are now finding themselves at risk of losing the advantages that brought them to China in the first place. As a result, manufacturing companies are moving towards near-sourcing to Mexico.
Now, thanks to a joint venture between two major petrochemical producers in the Americas, Mexico will improve its manufacturing capabilities, boost job creation and become even more attractive for foreign businesses. This partnership between Brazil’s Braskem S.A. and Mexico’s Grupo Idesa will build a plant in Veracruz, Mexico which will bring high-volume, high-efficiency plastics production to the region. At present, Mexico imports about 70 percent of the total amount of polyethylene use in the country. Once the new polyethylene complex featuring GE hyper compressor technology goes online, Mexico will significantly reduce the amount of polyethylene it imports for manufacturing, packaging and other industrial applications.
"This project is very strategically important for business development in the area, and our expectation is for it to spur long-term growth, so it was imperative for us to be extremely selective with the solutions we chose," said Silvia Pires Migueles, purchasing director for Braskem Idesa. "GE's efficient, reliable compressor technology makes us more competitive from day one, and GE's strong local presence gives us installation, maintenance, service and expansion advantages that will pay dividends for the life of the installation."
"Officials expect the plant's technology to attract new businesses to the region, creating jobs and healthy growth," said Marco Caviola, leader of GE Petrochemicals Solutions for Latin America. "We are committed to supporting that growth long-term by expanding our local maintenance facility and providing operator and maintenance training to Braskem Idesa employees."
Construction of the complex will begin later this year.
Italian confectionery group Ferrero, the maker of chocolate delights such as Kinder Bueno, Nutella and Ferrero Rocher sold around the world, plans to invest $190 million to open a new production plant in San Josè Iturbide in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.
The new plant, located at the Parque Opcòn industrial park, about 260km north of Mexico City, will feature four production lines. These four lines will manufacture the new Kinder and Nutella products for the Mexico as well as for U.S. and Canadian markets.
With production expected to begin in May 2013, the creation of the new plant couldn’t be more timely according to industry analyst’s growth forecasts. With CAGRs (Compound Annual Growth Rates) of 2.8 percent and 1.7 percent for the U.S. and Canada, respectively, IBISWorld food industry analyst Mary Nanfelt believes manufacturing in Mexico will work to the advantage of Ferrero, which is planning on exporting approximately 40 percent of its production to North America. "Ferrero is primarily going to manufacture their Kinder and Nutella products, which will definitely benefit the company because U.S. consumers are developing a more complex palette and they are becoming more interested in foreign products," Nanfelt told just-food, a source for food industry news and information.
The biggest share of Ferrero's business, however, will be conducted in Mexico, a market that is showing potential for growth. Jonathan Thomas, principal market analyst at Leatherhead Research, says to this regard, ‘I think Mexico is a market that shows potential for growth given it’s high percentage of young people, and of course young consumers are a key target market for confectionery.’[…] ‘People are looking towards European brands, Swiss chocolate and products like that. And that trend may well improve as the economic situation improves and disposable income levels start rising. There is no reason why consumers might not turn back to more expensive forms of chocolate and Ferrero would be in an ideal position to take advantage of that.’
For the five-year period 2010-2015, the Mexican confectionary market is expected to achieve a value of $3.2 billion. Ferrero, which began Mexican operations in 1992, is looking to capitalize on the Mexican confection industry’s heightened expansion.