UNO April 2019

Challenges to offering value—the view from Los Cabos, Mexico

From the perspective of a tourist destination, it is increasingly difficult to meet the multiple, changing needs of modern travelers. Currently, there are an infinite number of trends, activities and wants that consumers seek to satisfy during trips, whether it’s for pleasure, business or a combination of both, called “bleisure.” In addition, brands’ value propositions have changed. Today, travelers will choose to visit a destination based on what that particular place may mean or offer to them, more so than for the sake of tourism itself.

Differentiating your value proposition from the competitions’ is a key priority today, not only in the tourism industry but in any economic sector. Currently, it seems as though the only constant is that there is no constant amid the political, economic and cultural uncertainty that haunts the world. Travel has become a form of escape from reality.

Modern societies, in particular, consider leisure time—in which traveling is a priority—to be both a right and a nonrenewable resource. Due to the lack of leisure time, however, travelers try to make the most of it by incorporating elements that allow them to connect with themselves (or their Zen) and their loved ones, learn or develop new skills, try unfamiliar ingredients or step into unknown corners of the world.

“Differentiating your value proposition from the competitions’ is a key priority today, not only in the tourism industry but in any economic sector”

Travelers today collect travel experiences differently. They seek to connect and align their values with brands, destinations and experiences and are far more aware of the environment and local community. Experiences are shared on social networks in real time, leaving an indelible trace that affects, for better or worse, the reputations of the places visited. Tourism has a responsibility like never before to evolve and be mindful of available resources.

Innovation, now so in vogue, is no longer an option but a means of survival. As a tourist destination—an epicenter of touristic activity—we have a responsibility to revamp our touristic offering, provide unique experiences and sustain the travel bug so we can meet and exceed traveler expectations. Otherwise, they will go elsewhere, not return, or, worse still, tell the world not to come.

“Travelers today collect travel experiences differently. They seek to connect and align their values with brands, destinations and experiences”

Los Cabos, with its wide-ranging offer of new experiences and dedication to the highest standards of service, is ready to welcome the new generation of travelers. Thanks to its diverse natural resources—including desert, sea and mountain landscapes—and cultural traditions from the ancient peoples of Baja California, 10 new activities have been introduced, including listening to whale songs during a seaside dinner; connecting with locals by visiting their homes, studios and ranches; and exploring the Sierra de la Laguna trails while staying in a luxury camp (glamping) under a starlit sky to discover one of Mexico’s lesser known natural wonders.

The country has made safety in Los Cabos—a vital element for all visitors—a priority. Both the public and the private sectors have contributed substantial financial resources and technical capacities to improving safety. This strategy not only has visitor welfare in mind, but also that of the local communities. There is still a long way to go, but we have made significant advances toward improving social equity.

Today, Baja California Sur is the region with the highest per capita growth in Mexico (16.1 percent), mainly due to tourism and transversally generated economic activity. Thanks to regulations, the Development Plan and long-term vision of being environmentally conscious have attracted new investments under a sustainable, low-impact model: on average, hotels have 250 rooms per property.

Los Cabos proudly provides a unique value proposition that can meet the demands of modern travelers, who seek unparalleled experiences, authenticity, good weather, social awareness, safety and recreation. We are waiting for you!

Rodrigo Esponda
General director for the Tourism Trust of Los Cabos
With more than 18 years of industry experience, he specializes in the promotion of tourist destinations. He has been the general director for the Tourism Trust of Los Cabos since 2016. Before this, he collaborated with the Tourism Promotion Council of Mexico as the regional director for North America, coordinating Mexico’s promotion efforts in Canada and the United States and liaising with the main tour operators and travel agencies across 18 representative offices. He has also served as the institutional director for the National Fund for Tourism Promotion and was a professor of Tourism Planning at New York University. He holds a degree in Architecture from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, a master's in Management from Columbia University in New York and a certificate in Professional Meetings from the Convention Industry Council. [Mexico]

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