Last week, I explored Mexico City’s newest annual travel event, the International Tourism Fair of the Americas, or FITA (or Feria Internacional de Turismo de las Américas in Spanish). Basically, there are several hundred booths filled with travel trade pros, spokes model-types in tight dresses handing out brochures and suited executives looking important. While there were many destinations in Mexico represented, there were also numerous tourism boards including India, Thailand, Argentina, even Cuba. I took advantage of the situation.
As I have written before, I am a big fan of the convention floor as a great place to find story angles, the latest information and new contacts. I did well as both writer and traveler.
The convention itself has a few bugs that will likely work themselves out by next year. The most obvious problems were the location and the connectivity. As a traveler, Mexico City’s Financial District is basically a ghost town and about an hour from anything worth enjoying in Mexico City, the distance also made my over-priced, generic 5-star hotel a funnel to take my money without other local options (I have a story about money traps coming soon). As a writer, I was unable to report from the press room, with its 40 computer stations, due to zero Internet access. This likely dampened some of the exposure the event hoped to receive.
However, while my job was a little harder, there were still plenty of good opportunities. One such opportunity is my interview with Cancun’s Promotion Direction, Jorge Luis Tellez Vignet. There are more and I will be sharing them over the next few weeks.
And until next year’s FITA event…