Market Ready Mexico Model Validation in Chiapas

In September 2015 the Market Ready Mexico consortium conducted a validation workshop to share and test the business, operations and commercial criteria of the model adapted for Mexico’s adventure / ecotourism travel industry from the original model developed in Canada by the Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia - AtBC.

The validation workshop was funded by the German Cooperation Fund GIZ through SEMARNAT, Mexico’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources and carried out in two phases; during and after ATMEX 2015 (Mexico’s adventure travel fair and expo) in Palenque, Chiapas. Representatives and officers from federal and state tourism offices, the Mexico Tourism Board, the Commission of Natural Protected Areas - CONANP, the Commission for the Development of Indigenous People - CDI, the Association of Adventure and Ecotourism of Mexico - AMTAVE as well as private and community based companies in the sector were present.

Keith Henry the CEO of Aboriginal Tourism BC (AtBC) delivered a keynote address to all of the participants at ATMEX and took part in the workshops during and after ATMEX. (In 2016 Henry became CEO of Canada’s national Aboriginal Tourism Association)

The second second part of the workshop was begun in Lacanja, a cluster of community based ecotourism projects in the Lacandon jungle of Chiapas where 50 companies from around Mexico were brought together to learn and apply the Market Ready Model.

The model was used to categorize these companies according to their Business, Operational and Commercial capabilities into the following categories according to international tourism quality criteria: Emerging, Visitor Ready, Market Ready and Export Ready.

Although the companies that were selected were all companies formed mostly with seed money from various federal government development funds that had obtained SEMARNAT - Mexico’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources’ “Ecoturismo Certificado” (Certified Ecotourism) status having complied with (mostly) sustainability criteria were found to be mostly Emerging companies. Ecoturismo Certificado is a manifestation of legislation that was presented by SEMARNAT and passed by the congress creating Mexico’s Ecotourism Standard (Norma Mexicana de Ecoturismo).

The companies and the program were then promoted on our AdventureMexico.travel website as one step in a series of actions that need to be performed to improve the digital footprint of these companies. AMT.MARKETING and Adventure Mexico Travel Guides, Inc. was awarded the use of the Ecoturismo Certificado logo to promote and group these companies on the website at:

www.adventuremexico.travel/organizaciones/ecoturismo-certificado

The Market Ready Mexico consortium formed by Adventure Mexico Travel Guides, Inc / AMT.MARKETING, La Mano del Mono, RED Travel Mexico and Ecoturismo Genuino offers specialized business and operational capacity building training courses for for adventure / ecotourism travel companies and destinations including (among others) business planning, administration, guide preparation, tour operations, guest services, hospitality operations market studies.

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