Since 2013, the federal government has invested 2,500 million pesos in the tourism ministry’s Pueblos Mágicos program. That amounts to 50 percent of Mexico’s total investment in Magic Villages since they began naming them in 2001.
The Pueblos Mágicos initiative is led by Mexico’s Secretariat of Tourism, or SECTUR, in conjunction with other federal and state agencies. To be on their list indicates a “magical” experience for visitors and qualifies local governments for federal funds. Locals also get training and guidance in welcoming tourists.
These are destinations chosen for their natural beauty, cultural riches or historical relevance. The program is also a reminder to tourists that historic Mexico is more than a fun-and-sun vacation spot.
In Yucatán, Izamal made the list in 2002, and Valladolid was selected in 2012. The convent route village of Maní has campaigned for the honor, but so far to no avail.
SETUR has 111 towns and villages on its elite list, and expects to select more in 2017.
The government has also announced that it will seek to offset the carbon footprint generated by its upcoming tourism fair by buying green bonds to be allocated to a reforestation project in the Sierra Gorda.
The third national fair, whose title translates to “Magical Towns: Tourism for All. Promoting Universal Accessibility,” will be held from Oct 14-16 in Querétaro.
With information from Forbes Mexico