Home' micenet eMag : micenet December 2018 Contents I
f you’re anything like me, the word
‘Mexico’ brings to mind a tune. A skirt-
swishing mariachi number heavy on the
trumpet and guitar. The image of a desert
manifests, barren save for a cactus, and the
spicy aroma of tacos wafts through the
Sombreros feature in this fabled Mexico,
as do cartoonish drug lords, thickly-
moustached and menacing in their
abandoned warehouse posts. Oh, and
there’s tequila. Lots of tequila. Knocked back
with round-the-clock gusto and some face-
twisting sucks of a lime.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but we’ve
been watching too many movies. (And
spending too many nights in tawdry salsa
bars). This caricatured version of Mexico,
largely fuelled by Hollywood, pays a frightfully
narrow disservice to a country with
drawcards in spades.
Did you know, for instance, that Mexican
culture spans over three millennia, and that
its World Heritage sites outnumber those in
the US? How about that its capital boasts
the second highest number of museums in
the world, and was listed by the New York
Times as the number one travel destination due to its unrivalled gastronomic scene? I can
almost guarantee you didn’t know that in July this year, the United States Department of State
deemed all Mexican tourist destinations safe. (For those keeping tally, that’s four reasons to go
so far, and zero reasons not to).
Fortunately, the blithe assumptions of the uninitiated are increasingly being brushed aside,
with Mexico now attracting the sixth highest number of tourists in the world, ahead of the UK,
Germany and Thailand. And, such is the way with any feverish location, Mexico’s tourism board
has grabbed the MICE industry by its lucrative horns and launched a meeting and events
So far, it seems to be working. Through a range of initiatives, including linking international
corporations with local counterparts in business and academic sectors, Mexico’s meeting and
events activity increased by seven per cent last year.
Additionally, its International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranking now
stands at third in Latin America, fifth in the Americas, and 21st
in the world.
Forever the bandwagon jumper, I’ve decided to harness Mexico’s steady MICE incline and
give three of its hotspots the once-over. So, lend me an ear and I’ll sing you a song (and I’ll try
not to sing mariachi).
I’ve already raved a little about Mexico’s cosmopolitan metropolis, but, let me tell you, when it
comes to its business event possibilities, our collective cups runneth over.
Mexico City is essentially a splatter painting of cultural vibrancy, combining pre-Hispanic,
European colonial and modern architecture with an explosion of traditional street food, stunning
national parks and a thriving street art scene.
Fling a bit of ‘world-class conference space’ and ‘big-name hotel’ paint at the canvas and
you’ve got a masterpiece ready for any corporate group.
Mexico City is home to more than 17 conference centres, including the gargantuan Pepsi
Laura Bradley says we should wipe what we think
we know about Mexico and start anew.
UP-AND-COMERS | LAURA BRADLEY
Incentive delegates enjoying a camel
ride across the sands of Los Cabos.
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Center, which can hold up to 3000 people, and around 180 hotels, such as Sheraton Mexico
City Maria Isabel which offers 684 rooms, 72 suites and 18 meeting rooms.
Really, though, this is probably the last place on earth you should be holing people up in
Visiting groups have been known to dine in public spaces amidst murals, network in the
courtyard of the renovated 16th century Bankers Club and attend meetings in the Blue House
where Frida Kahlo lived.
Around 90 minutes and a world away from the country’s bustling capital is the UNESCO World
Heritage listed city of Puebla.
Now, Mexico’s south-east gem may have hitherto escaped your attention, but if a harmonious
interplay between the old and new sends your little heart aflutter... Just call me Cupid, and
Puebla my quiver of arrows.
Only in this city do prestigious universities rub shoulders with more than 2600 historical sites,
archaeological zones come alive at night with cutting-edge light shows and big name hotel
brands (think Crowne Plaza and Four Points by Sheraton) sit alongside mustard-hued Spanish
This delightful scope of course extends to its event spaces, with options ranging from the fort
where the infamous 1862 Cinco de Mayo battle took place through to the 564,028 square foot
Exhibitor Center, which is the largest column-free event centre in Latin America.
To further incentivise your Puebla incentive, its activity options are pretty amazing, too. The
world’s largest portable observation wheel (Estrella de Puebla), 16 public parks and the ancient
Mesoamerican Great Pyramid of Cholula are just a few of its ample offerings.
It would be remiss of me to recommend Mexico without mentioning an idyllic beach location, so
enter Los Cabos: a two-city municipality where the water is clear, cacti abundant and the sky
appears scrubbed to a shining blue.
Just like Queenstown across the ditch, Los Cabos’ beauty is rivalled only by her array of thrill-
seeking activities, including camel rides along
the beach, zip-line expeditions through the
Boca de la Sierra area and, most nail-bitingly,
the ‘Desert Madness’ quad trail over the Tule
Canyon Bridge. Event planning company
Tropical Incentives DMC can assist groups
with this heart-racing activity, even providing
personalised bandanas with company logos.
If your group’s proclivities sway more
towards the placid, Tropical Incentives DMC
can also organise scenic gala dinners and
cocktail functions equipped with culturally-
rich entertainment. The ‘Shaman
Experience’, for example, provides a vivid
display of Cirque Du Soleil-inspired
performances in keeping with the rituals of
the Huichol Tribe.
Los Cabos also has plenty of meeting and
sleeping establishments, including around 35
hotels (such as Sheraton Grand Los Cabos
Hacienda del Mar) and 20 dedicated event
I don’t know about you, but that mariachi
tune isn’t ringing through my head anymore.
Now it’s more of a ‘save up to go to Mexico’
chant playing on repeat. m
For more information about organising
an incentive in Mexico, visit
The Cirque Du Soleil-inspired Shaman Experience
provides gala dinners with a touch of traditional culture.
“THROUGH A RANGE OF
INITIATIVES, INCLUDING LINKING
WITH LOCAL COUNTERPARTS IN
BUSINESS AND ACADEMIC
SECTORS, MEXICO’S MEETING AND
EVENTS ACTIVITY INCREASED BY
SEVEN PER CENT LAST YEAR.”
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