According to the Guanajuato Tourist Observatory, 723 thousand visitors came to San Miguel de Allende in 2020 in spite of the contingency. The visitors generated 2,837 million pesos.
Based on these figures, and in the hopes of reaching the 2 million tourists per year that the city had been hosting, the Tourist Council presented its new campaign, “If you are looking for a reason, listen to the heart.” The campaign focuses on offering adventure, leisure, and outdoor activities. It was launched because, according to the manager of the Council, Édgar Zamudio, data from the Federal Tourism Office estimates that throughout the country, foreign tourism will increase 4.7 percent this year. That and local tourism should generate a spill-over of more than 1,649,974 million pesos.
“For this reason San Miguel de Allende is launching “If you are looking for a reason,” which it hopes will help the city and the entire country recover this important economic activity,” said Zamudio. The campaign introduces new outdoor experiences and complements the cultural, traditional, and artistic essence of the destination, he added.
In the videos the Council produced, host and model Monica Noguera introduces some of the best moments in the city, from dawn to dusk. “What we are looking for with this campaign is to reach the leisure segment of the population, which 70% of our visitors belong to. We are also sure that the campaign can and should reach out to other segments, such as Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE), romance, gastronomy, and business. We are a destination city that offers a wide variety of options that meet the needs of national and foreign travelers,” said Jesús Gonzalo González Rodríguez, interim mayor of San Miguel de Allende.
During the presentation, he stressed that although 2020 was an atypical, challenging, and unexpected year “that affected the tourism industry globally,” San Miguel was the first destination without a beach in Latin America, to obtain the Travel Safety Stamp, awarded by the World Travel and Tourism Council.
During the launch, it was noted that all travel destinations in Mexico reinforced hygiene protocols. In the case of San Miguel, tourist activities, hotels, and restaurants had to adjust to the new reality, as well as to a new type of tourist who still travels, but more cautiously. In 2020, San Miguel also managed to be crowned the Best Small Town in the World by Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards. It stands out as a friendly and welcoming World Heritage City destination with a unique quality of services.
A separate focus of the event featured the Cañada de la Virgen Archaeological Zone. Its ceremonial center and place of worship and pilgrimage were developed between 540 and 1050 AD. It was part of the archaeological area of the Laja River, in central-eastern Guanajuato State.This site was promoted on a National Lottery ticket. The draw was held on July 4: Zodiac Draw 1,533. It is tradition to promote historical sites on lottery tickets in Mexico. The unveiling of the ticket was shared by several authorities: the National Lottery, the Office of Culture of the Government of Mexico (SECTUR), the Tourism Office of Guanajuato, and the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). “Guanajuato is a state with a great diversity of tourist attractions, and that is why SECTUR has gravitated to cultural activities; it supports the intention that visitors and tourists come to this place to experience great stories,” said Secretary of Tourism in Guanajuato Juan José Álvarez Brunel.
Margarita González Saravia Calderón, general director of the National Lottery, commented that the tickets from the archaeological zones highlight the cultural values that every corner of the country maintains, in addition to supporting the reactivation of tourism. “They are areas protected by INAH and a source of national pride.”
In his speech, the director of the INAH Guanajuato Center, David Jiménez Guillén, affirmed that it is an honor for the organization to witness the presentation of the lottery ticket. He was alluding to the Cañada de la Virgen Archaeological Zone, where 50 years ago, as part of the decentralization of the institution, archeological work was initiated, “so that Guanajuato was the first state at the national level where this process began.”
“The issuance of this ticket is a recognition of the site, and also of those who built it to settle in the central basin of the Laja River. I’m referring to the indigenous people who founded it and those who reoccupied it, as well as those who rescued it, investigated it, and made it available to all of us to rediscover a part of our historical past,” he said.
Interim Mayor Gonzalo González told Atencion that although the reopening is gradual, places are opening. Due to the pandemic, sanitary filters will continue to exist at the entrances to the city and at the entry points to the Jardin Principal. Use of a mask will remain mandatory. On the other hand, he assured us that there are too few Covid cases to require the city to close again. The city will cooperate with the measures dictated by the Federal and State authorities.
Since 2005, El Corazón de México (The Heart of Mexico) has been the destination slogan registered by the San Miguel Tourism Board. Over the past 16 years, attractions, products, and tourist experiences generated by entrepreneurs, artists, service providers and artisans have developed.
During this period, adventure products, gastronomy, weddings, meetings, and others have evolved. Campaign titles include “If the beat gets you,” “A trip to the heart,” and “Little city, big heart.”
According to the “Profile of the 2020 Visitor to San Miguel de Allende” compiled by the Tourism Observatory of the State of Guanajuato, and thanks to the city’s efforts, San Miguel welcomed 723 thousand visitors in 2020. Of these, 243.2 thousand stayed in hotels, which generated 2,837 million pesos. It should be noted that tourist satisfaction is high, so visitors come more than once a year.