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This past Friday, May 31—the same date in which Puerto Vallarta celebrates its anniversary, both as a city and municipality—the governors of Jalisco and Nayarit (Aristóteles Sandoval Díaz and Roberto Sandoval Castañeda, respectively) attended a meeting at Puerto Vallarta’s prestigious Casa Velas hotel during which Mexico’s Federal Tourism Secretary, Claudia Ruiz Massieu, announced an important joint promotional program between both states. Ten million dollars have been earmarked for the promotion, the first of its kind, with the goal of reactivating foreign tourism in the region.

While many aspects of this new effort have yet to be set in stone, we’ve been monitoring local media, in search of important highlights. We share a few here, most of which have been extracted from recent editions of Vallarta Opina.

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Nacho Cadena (PV Tourism Bureau) signs an important
agreement with Apple Vacations Vice-President,
Mark Noenning, to increase charter arrivals.

The promotion re-brands our destination as “Vallarta-Nayarit, Live it to Believe it,” “two destinations with a single product,” according to Ruis Massieu. It emphasizes the region’s natural beauty and sophisticated tourism infrastructure, acknowledging that visitors—national and international—do not visit looking for frontiers or boundaries (between the two states), but rather looking for activities and experiences.

A specific goal of the campaign is to receive 135,000 more tourists in the region within the next 12 months, with an expected 100 million USD in economic benefits.

A promotional video spot in English has been produced, unveiled, and is now being distributed through YouTube and other social media outlets.

New national and international flights (commercial airlines and charters) are expected to be announced in the near future. Some of the first new charters from Mexican cities such as Chihuahua and Monterrey have already been announced. Important agreements with travel wholesaler Apple Vacations are also in the works.

A number of changes is expected to take place throughout the region. A controversial one—and we will monitoring it in our weekly newsletter—is the possible re-opening of a ferry route from Puerto Vallarta to La Paz.

Puerto Vallarta’s hotel occupation is on the rise—85.9 percent so far this year, as opposed to 83.9 last year—according to Jalisco governor, Aristóteles Sandoval.

Foreign currency, tourism-related expenditure is on the rise in Mexico, according to Ruiz Massieu. Foreign tourists spent 4,958 million USD in Mexico during the first four months of the current year, a 6.6 percent increase from last year, same period.

The number of international tourists arriving in Mexico by air is also on the rise—4.5 million from January to April, 2013, as opposed to 4.3 during the same period last year.