Vallarta's Evolving Infraestructure 2008
Published Jun 3, 2008, 4:07pm - (Updated Nov 28, 2011, 5:31pm)
Puerto Vallarta has been constantly upgrading its infrastructure to better host the growing numbers of visitors with new investments including a newly renovated and expanded cruise port and airport, as well as the construction of a new world-class convention center.
Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular ports of call for cruise ships on Mexico’s Pacific coast. An ambitious renovation and expansion program of the port’s facilities was recently completed under strict safety and environmental standards. The cruise port is now able to simultaneously accommodate three full-size cruise ships. Each dock can accommodate ships up to 311 meters (1,020 feet) long. In 2007, 240 cruise ships docked in Puerto Vallarta bringing over 540,000 passengers to the destination, and 275 arrivals are planned for 2008 bringing an estimated 589,000 passengers, a 15% annual increase over 2007. Currently, the Ports Authority is conducting a feasibility study to determine whether Puerto Vallarta could operate as a home port. A new world-class terminal building has also been designed and is currently under construction. Additional docking areas have also been added for smaller vessels offering a steadily increasing number of tourist excursions in Banderas Bay. Additional information available at www.apivta.com
Airport Renovation and Expansion
Puerto Vallarta’s Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport underwent an ambitious renovation and expansion program in 2007 that allowed it to increase capacity by 141%. A new state of the art $20,000,000 USD satellite terminal was recently inaugurated serving mainly international flights to/from the USA and Canada and has the capacity to accommodate an additional 800,000 passengers per year. Its modern and spacious installations double the number of available jet bridges for enhanced passenger comfort and moving walkways connect it to the main terminal. New and improved immigration facilities as well as an updated baggage claim system also allow for quicker arrivals formalities. The new satellite building also houses exclusive open spaces for art and photography exhibits by local artists.
With an investment estimated at $41,000,000 USD, Puerto Vallarta’s new Convention Center will occupy 42 acres in a convenient location, only a five-minute drive from the airport. It will be close to Puerto Vallarta’s major hotels, as well as the historic downtown area with its fine dining establishments, art galleries and eclectic shopping options; and offer over 105,000 square feet of flexible meeting and exhibition space. The Convention Center’s main meeting room, which is almost 54,000 square feet in size, can be divided into eight fully equipped, state of the art spaces, complete with central air conditioning and connecting sound proofed divisions. An imposing 250,000 square-foot outdoor square will provide the main entrance to the convention center complete with high sails, a reflecting pool and landscaped gardens. The complex will offer 670 car parking spaces as well as a section reserved exclusively for buses that will be able to accommodate up to 50 coaches. The complex will offer a host of services required by large groups and/or conventions such as Expocentro, small meeting rooms, a theater, a research center, cafeteria, a cultural and educational center, workshop, state of the art technology, and first class service in elegant surroundings.
The Distintivo “H” program, an initiative of Mexico’s Health Department, is based on requirements established by the World Health Organization and aimed at food and beverage service providers looking to improve the quality of their offerings through better hygiene practices in the process of handling, storing, and preparing food and beverages. Establishments looking to receive the distinction must voluntarily request an inspection of their operations. Obtaining a Distintivo “H” distinction is recognizing the effort made by hotels and restaurants that are committed to raising their standards of hygiene and quality. In 2007, 85 hotels and restaurants in Puerto Vallarta received the Distintivo “H” distinction. In the first three months of 2008, two Puerto Vallarta establishments will obtain a renewal of their Distintivo “H” certification and 2 new establishments will receive the distinction for the first time.
Preservation and Rehabilitation of Puerto Vallarta's Historic Center
Puerto Vallarta being the second most important tourism destination in Mexico, the governments of Mexico, the state of Jalisco, and the city of Puerto Vallarta have expressed great interest in the preservation and rehabilitation of the city’s image. In order to achieve this goal, all three levels of government have joined forces and are working together in the rehabilitation of Puerto Vallarta’s Historic Center. The objective is to create a harmonious blend of the town’s buildings’ facades with the street signage and street furniture, eliminating visual pollution, contributing to the touristic and economic development of the city and improving the quality of life of the local population. The project is divided into five stages and will encompass the following: building facades, urban mobility, reforestation, and infrastructure including roads, drainage, electric and gas lines, and the concealment of all cables. The last stage will focus on regulations and use of land as well as the integration of public lighting with the installation of new public streetlights in the main square and all along the malecon. About $3,500,000 has been invested in the first stage of this project that was initiated in 2007. The second stage of the project will begin in May 2008.
Infoarte - Multimedia Tourist Information
An innovative service combining sculptural art and multimedia digital information has taken shape in Puerto Vallarta. In keeping with the town’s public arts initiative, Puerto Vallarta has incorporated 20 bronze sculptures in five different models, all created by local artist Octavio González that combine fine art with a touch screen providing digital services including local tourist information and the history of Puerto Vallarta. These multimedia sculptures can be found in strategic locations throughout town including the Malecon, Marina Vallarta, the Hotel Zone, and the “old town” Romantic Zone. Puerto Vallarta is the first destination in Mexico to offer travelers this digital information service. Additional information available at: www.infoarte.com.mx
Water Quality Certification
The State of Jalisco Health Department has announced that for 16 consecutive years, the water quality in Puerto Vallarta has received the highest certification. No other municipality in Jalisco has achieved Puerto Vallarta’s water quality standards. The Seapal water treatment plant conducts all chemical and bacteriological testing to ensure that all Puerto Vallarta visitors and residents have access to quality drinking water. The state’s Health Secretary presented Puerto Vallarta with the 16th certification of Quality Water Appropriate for Human Consumption in February 2008.