The Embassy of Mexico in Ghana will embark on a programme to make the country more accessible to Ghanaians, Mr Enrique Escorza, the Mexican Ambasador has said.
“We are preparing a very aggressive programme this year to make our tourist destination more accessible to the Ghanaian people,” Mr Escorza told the Ghanaian Times in an exclusive interview on Friday.
Mr Escorza said like Ghana, Mexico had a unique characteristic that made it more attractive to the world and that its tourism campaign slogan “see it to believe it” had helped marketed Mexico to the world.
In addition, he said Mexico’s amazing weather, its geographical location (lying between North and Latin America) made visitors fell in love with the country.
On contribution of tourism to Mexico’s economy, Mr Escorza said before the pandemic, Mexico raked in $18 billion annually, a significant contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Mexican Ambassador told the Times that before the outbreak of COVID-19, Mexico used to welcome 45 million tourists, but the number dropped to 32 million tourists in 2021.
This means a significant loss of revenue, the Mexican envoy added, but said as more people got vaccinated and COVID-19 safety protocols being relaxed across the globe, Mexico, currently the seventh most visited country in the world was bracing itself to receive more tourists.
He said “Mexico was always opened for business” and that service providers- hotels, restaurants and airline operators were charged to be responsible in ensuring adherence to safety protocols.
While conceding that not much had been done in selling Mexico to the Ghanaian people, Mr Escorza stated that many Ghanaians knew about Mexico through telenovela and opera soap movies.
He said Ghana and Mexico could used arts, music and culture to boost people-to-people contact and improve trade and investment for the benefit of their citizens.
When asked the lessons Ghana could draw from Mexico to develop its tourism, the Ambassador of Mexico said his country was opened to offer “the Mexican experience.”
“That is not to suggest that Mexico has succeeded in every endeavour,” Mr Escorza observed, but added that Ghana could learn a lot from Mexico.
He said for instance, in Mexico, there was effective integration among stakeholders in the tourism sector.
“I don’t see that much happening in Ghana,” the Mexican Ambassador said and urged Ghana to adopt the “magic town” concept, a unique campaign style in Mexico in which different regions, cities, streets colonial towns, and mountains are identified by their picturesque, beautiful designs, and paintings.
Mr Escorza said he also wanted to see Ghana emulate the Mexican “knocking on doors” project where those in charge of the Ghanaian tourism took business a notch higher, by visiting other countries, knocking on doors to tell and sell the Ghanaian tourism story.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA