Los Cabos, a Mexican municipality, is working to attract more tourists to its territory, in which Colombia is among its ‘Top 3’. For this reason, they are requesting direct air routes to connect from Bogotá and will do a ‘show’ at the end of the year, in honor of the country, according to Rodrigo Esponda, general director of the tourism trust.
Why is there a trust in Los Cabos for tourism?
The trust was created 24 years ago as an organization that brings together the efforts of the private and public sectors for the development of tourism activity to attract visitors, generate connectivity and care for the Los Cabos brand.
There is public-private participation for decision-making around the vision of the destination, not in the short term, but in the medium and long term.
What is the difference, what is that added value that Los Cabos can give that another destination in Mexico cannot?
The value has been the focus that has always been on the quality of the visitors. Care has been taken to ensure that the impression of the destination, the image, is the best.
For example, there is no outdoor advertising, that is, there are no billboards by law in the area. By law it was imposed that in order to protect the image of the destination, no billboards, no advertisements, no signs even for hotels could be placed. It is a small example, but it is a clear example of the care taken in quality, in the experience, in the image that the visitor may have.
In high season, what do you do so that the destination is not saturated?
It is a very spread out, very wide destination, and there are height and density restrictions. Then, the number of rooms and developments are controlled based on different provisions to precisely regulate it.
The focus of tourism service providers is not on quantity, but on quality.
40% of visitors are repetitive and that is something that is taken care of a lot.
We are not looking to have a tourist arrive and leave with a bad impression.
We measure the visitor experience in each of the areas. Restaurants, transportation, experiences, hotels and in different areas of each of them to, collectively, improve or take care of the visitor’s experience.
How much does the destination depend on tourism?
The community of Los Cabos mentions that 70% of people work in activities directly or indirectly in tourism.
When we analyze the remaining 30%, who say that they do not work in tourism activities, for example, in professional services, they are people who are related to tourism activity or commerce.
So, the only economic activity that exists in the destination is related to tourism.
Has the number of Colombians visiting the destination increased?
In 2019 we were receiving between 100 and 150 Colombians per month, now it is 800 or 900.
It is the third international market, only after the United States and Canada.
We think that after some work that we have been doing with business partners and that the destination, due to the options offered by the natural environment, the security, the diversity, the quality and the good treatment that we have, the Colombian has liked the treatment.
In addition, connectivity has expanded. We hope that this year we will close with double the number of visitors than we had the previous year, close to 10,000, and by 2024, we believe that number can double.
What does Los Cabos offer for Colombians during the New Year’s Eve season?
On December 2 we have a celebration that has been held every year called ‘Sabor a Cabo’, which is an event that brings together the entire gastronomic exhibition, where there are competitions between chefs, offers of gastronomy and wine and at the end there is a musical show, on this occasion we think that with all this growth that the Colombian market has had Juanes could be an extraordinary option.
Have you tried to connect via direct flight?
Yes. The first thing we did 4 or 5 years ago was that the Mexican airlines that were offering connections did the best job so that the connection was very easy, that is, in a range of two hours one could travel from Colombia to connect in the city from Mexico or Guadalajara and could arrive in Los Cabos in an hour and a half.
Now, we are working with Líneas Aéreas Suramericanas, presenting them with the options and flow of visitors from Colombia to Los Cabos. The growth has been very rapid in both Bogotá and Medellín and other cities in Colombia as well. We think that this will allow us to have the option of a direct flight in the very short term.
What airlines would it be with?
We have been talking about it with Copa connecting in Panama, which is obviously not direct but it is a very easy connection. Another option is Avianca or with the same Mexican airlines that we have been talking about so that there can be a commercial route that can be two or three times a week and that offers from the El Dorado airport in Bogotá.
We have also been having meetings because Los Cabos is already among its 10 main origins without a direct connection, with a much faster growth rate than other destinations.