18 JUL 2018: Los Cabos is known for a lot of things – among them an upscale atmosphere, crazy night life (Cabo Wabo!), impossibly blues skies, amazing beaches and warm Sea of Cortes waters, whale watching, golf and signature rock arch. But tourism types in the Baja California destination would like to add another name to the list: meetings and incentives.

Recently, a delegation of Los Cabos hoteliers and tourism execs called in at Toronto to spread the word about MICE to the trade and also to share a little of the area’s famed local elixir - tequila.

Between tastings, Los Cabos groups and conventions manager, Moctezuma Loza noted that the MICE market in Cabo (as the two towns of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, and the 32-kilometre tourism corridor between them, are collectively referred) has been on the rise since 2012, when the G20 Los Cabos Summit boosted the meetings profile of the destination substantially. Since then more than 230,000 MICE visitors have led to a 39 percent arrivals surge and have helped the destination achieve a 31 percent overall share of the meetings market in Mexico.

It’s no coincidence that this growth has mirrored a massive uptick in hotels in the area in the past few years, with 17 more (with 5,000 rooms) set to open by 2022 – 80 percent of them boasting four or five stars.

With such development in the pipeline, Loza assures that the destination won’t become “too crazy,” noting that a Hard Rock with only 600 rooms will be the biggest property to open its doors. Nevertheless, approximately 40 (name brand) hotels offer lots of meeting space and options for business travellers, not to mention the recently refurbished 22,000 sq. m. convention centre, while a mature DMC industry has developed to offer a full range of services from event staging to team building, transfers and logistics.

Loza adds that there are more than more than 150 activities to entertain conference or incentive participants, ranging from staples like golf (15 courses in the area with seven more on the way) to scuba diving and camel riding, while venues run the gamut from gardens to desert canyons. And, of course, there are tequila tastings, with dozens of varieties available to try, to top off any event.

“People have seen a lot of the Caribbean,” Loza told Travel Industry Today. “We’re something different.”

The prospect of a Los Cabos meeting or convention for Canadians is particularly easy, Loza adds, with the destination accessible from a dozen Canadian gateways via Air Canada, WestJet and Sunwing, the latter having just announced that it will add new direct service from Ottawa and Kelowna starting next winter.

For its part, the Los Cabos Tourism Board is eager to help planners and travel agents organize any corporate gathering (including site inspections) with MICE specialists, promotional material and a dedicated web site. “We provide resources to meet the planners’ needs, so they don’t have to outsource,” Loza says. “We’re the best tool they can have.”

For more information:

Visit: www.Visitloscabos.travel/meetings

or email mloza@visitloscabos.travel

18jul3a_loscabos

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Michael Baginski

Editor at Large, Mike Baginski is well known and well respected within the industry across Canada, the US, in the Caribbean, Mexico and numerous other destinations outside North America.

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