25 SEP 2014: Mexico’s fastest growing destination wants us to take notice. Guidebook companies like Frommer’s already have. They laud this Pacific Coast location, “Move over Maya Riviera, the Riviera Nayarit is virtually undiscovered.”

“We’re hot and I like to brag about it,” says Richard Zarkin, manager of public relations for the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau about the recent accolade at an exclusive media luncheon last week hosted by the Mexico Tourism Board.

It’s all about sun and, of course, beach but there’s culture and lifestyle too, not to mention the cuisine and outdoor adventure.

An outdoor playground pegged as “Mexico’s Pacific Treasure,” the Riviera Nayarit is situated along 192 miles of golden Pacific coastline but with the famous Sierra Madre Mountains dotted by quaint villages nearby, the location is sure to keep both your sun seekers and your culture vulture clients busy.

The numbers

Zarkin compares international tourism arrival figures from January through June of this year compared to last year and notes a 21 percent increase in Canadian arrivals with an estimated 176,690 Canadian visitors.

For June through January’s occupancy figures it’s even better - he notes a 27 percent increase.

The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau conducts monthly visitor satisfaction studies.

“Overall we have a 9.5 grade from the tourists which is like an A plus,” he says of the survey which highlights satisfaction levels in hospitality, safety, cleanliness, beaches, accommodations, golf, and culture.

Sightseeing and new developments

There are some 21 Mexican towns to choose from with the state’s largest resort project now in the works. Located in the municipality of Compostela, Costa Capomo is under a Portuguese private developer which has invested, according to Zarkin, US$22 billion to create a 7000 room hotel-residential complex of which 3,000 rooms will be designated for hotels.

“I am very excited about this new development and I am confident we will have tourists to fill this.”  

Outdoor Adventure

The coastal mountain backdrop affords opportunities for clients jonesing to zip-line, horseback and ride ATVs.

Rich marine life (see humpback whales, whale sharks and plentiful fish) means a variety of excursions. Try paddling or sport fishing for blue marlin, yellow fin tuna, and sailfish in the tag and release fishing programmes.

Overall, Rodrigo Esponda, the regional director in North America for the Mexico Tourism Board, reports this year 1.1 million visitors from Canada have visited Mexico between January to July, a 5.9 percent increase compared to the previous year.

For more Riviera Nayarit travel information visit http://www.rivieranayarit.com/

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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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