From the white beaches of the Riviera Maya to the stately haciendas of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico is one of the favorite destinations for foreigners to celebrate weddings. San Miguel de Allende, Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Cancun, Yucatan, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, and the Riviera Nayarit top the list of the preferences of the couple who spend thousands of dollars for the yes under a Mexican sun.
Although there are no official figures that record the advance of romance tourism in Mexico, according to the US portal The Knot, Mexico captures 23 percent of tourists in this segment; and according to the International Association of Destination Wedding Professionals (IADWP), the average cost of a US wedding at a Mexican beach destination is USD 20,800.
In addition to weddings, romance tourism also includes honeymoons, bachelor parties, family moons, and the renewal of vows. Paulina Domínguez Aguilar, deputy director of Marketing Induction of the Directorate of Tourism Product Innovation of the Sectur, explained to MILENIO that the federal government has tried to generate statistics through the Datatur system, but they have not managed to reach the amount necessary from providers who report to the system to create data.
We still need to integrate all the actors in this segment to have a joint work of states, municipalities, and private initiatives to obtain greater growth and count how important is the national economic income per year since so far it has not been possible to register this amount.
"We need a lot of work with the whole industry, wedding planners, hoteliers, photographers, florists, and makeup artists, among others. We need to finish integrating this value chain so that they really work for the destination, for Mexico, "he said.
So far the only ones that have been able to register are the average stays, where for Mexican destinations weddings are two nights and three days, and in the case of foreigners, it increases up to five nights and six days. Also, he indicated that in the events organized by the nationals the number of average guests is between 50 to 60, while with people from other countries the figure is 15 to 30. The Sectur official indicated that the main market for foreigners who come to make their weddings to Mexico are the Americans and recently the Canadians.
In the case of Mexican events, the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Trust generated an approximate calculation of the services they use, such as land transportation, where they spend an average of 5 thousand pesos, in an all-inclusive hotel, 2,500 pesos, transfers 500 and activities abroad 4 thousand pesos.
The president of the Mexican Association of Travel Agencies (AMAV), Jorge Hernández, reported that it has been seen annually that romance tourism has grown, to the extent that there are already specialized agencies in this segment. These businesses have all the packages and contacts to offer a trip for weddings with a plane, church, place for nuptials, hotel, invitations, and ground transportation, among other aspects.
The best wedding destinations in Mexico
Quintana Roo and Puerto Vallarta are two of the main destinations that have managed to position themselves as favorites within the foreign tastes for their romance tourism events, due to their landscapes, its infrastructure, and adequate air connectivity.
Lizzie Cole, executive director of promotion of the Tourism Promotion Council of Quintana Roo, reported that in the state the most requested places for the 20,000 annual weddings that are held are Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Riviera Maya, Tulum, and Cozumel.
The state official said that one of the factors that have positioned them worldwide in this segment are the natural scenarios that have the destination, such as beaches, cenotes, and the jungle, "all that mix of natural attractions makes you want to come to celebrate one of the most important days of your life."