Mexico with its gorgeous sand beaches and crystal waters is definitely nothing short of a paradise but there are few hidden gems which are now spreading their glitter far and wide. Conventionally Mexico is synonymous to Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Puerto Vallarta but the spotlight is now shifting. Small, undiscovered places are now making headlines. One such region is the Riviera Nayarit.

Famous for several spectacular beaches, the Riviera Nayarit is a nearly 200 mile stretch of coastline between the historical port of San Blas in the Mexican state of Nayarit and extends southward to where the Río Ameca or Ameca River empties into Banderas Bay, in Nuevo Vallarta. It includes such notable sites as Chacala Bay, Chacalilla, the archeological zone of the Alta Vista, Aticama, Bucerías, Sayulita famous for the surfing, San Francisco, Lo de Marcos, Los Ayala, Rincón de Guayabitos and Peñita de Jaltemba. Riviera Nayarit, so named to promote the beautiful coast line of Nayarit state. It is a great surfing locations abode of natural beauty.

The region is loved by surfers and prominent international publications such as The Hufftington Post, Oyster Blog and Men’s Fitness are going ga-ga about it. The region has created a niche for itself in the lists of must-visit places for surf lovers. Surf is a booming industry and has great potential to create market for itself. With innovation branding and smart marketing, Riviera Nayarit can transform itself into the world favorite surfing destination.

According to Marc Murphy, director of the Riviera Nayarit Convention & Visitors Bureau, the region is marketing itself as an upscale region with numerous high-end branded properties as well as boutique hotels. “More than 70% of our 15,000 hotel rooms are in AAA Three Diamond and above properties, and more are coming online this year and next,” Murphy said. “We are high-end but still affordable, and we are reaching out to the U.S. market in particular.”

Close to 30% of the region’s visitors are from the U.S., but “that market has not fully rebounded to the 2007 figures. It’s been a slow growth process, and it’s difficult to forecast 2013,” Murphy said.

“Our strategies in the last few years have been to concentrate on events, media trips and bringing agents down to the region,” Murphy said. “The Riviera Nayarit is a place that you have come here and live it to appreciate it.”

The Riviera Nayarit Convention & Visitors Bureau has done a lot for the promotion of the region. The CVB has introduced an online specialist Travel Agent Training TAT program. “We work with approximately 5,200 agents, primarily U.S. agents, and we want to keep them updated with our products, events and hotel happenings,” he said. The CVB also wants to move further into the wedding and honeymoon markets as well as the meetings segment.

Riviera Nayarit Real Estate

Riviera Nayarit was also showcased at the 2012 International Exhibition of Tourism and Travel (SITV) which took place in Montreal on October 19-21. Being a part of one of most important tourism fair in Canada that is open to the public, Riviera Nayarit was privileged to host a booth with brochures and information about the destination. With great help from the Council of Mexico Tourism (CPTM), Riviera Nayarit provided 38,000 potential visitors with the idea of visiting the area for their next winter vacation. The event also solidified relations with Air Transat, Nolitur, Air Canada Vacations, Sunwing and Signature Vacations.

Photo: CVB of Riviera Nayarit

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