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Acapulco regains attractive for international tourism

Acapulco regains attractive for international tourism

Posted by Ricardo Vázquez on September 15, 2014

A new 814-room hotel in Acapulco, a historic coastal resort beset by bad publicity stemming from Mexico’s drug wars, is the latest sign of a comeback for the city.

Mundo Imperial Resort, scheduled to open this month in the tourist area known as Acapulco Diamante, is part of a complex that includes a convention center, a 4,000-seat auditorium, shops, a spa and restaurants.

Once a globetrotter’s stop for celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and other worldly sorts in the 1950s and 1960s, Acapulco boomed and busted after newer, more thoughtfully developed resort destinations emerged in Cancún and Puerto Vallarta.

In the last 10 years Acapulco has been the site of drug-related battles for control of the coast, with several high-profile gang killings in 2011 and the robbery and gang rape of several Spanish tourists in 2013.

But in an interview, Javier Aluni, secretary of tourism for the state of Guerrero, in which Acapulco is located, credited federal patrols, begun in 2011, with reducing violence in the area, leading the United States government to revise its travel warning on Acapulco and contributing to the return of Mexican tourists, who account for 95 percent of visitors.

“We have, as the excellent result, recovered the credibility and trust of the people,” Mr. Aluni said, adding that 2014 has been the strongest year for tourism in a decade.

Plans to renovate the city’s infrastructure include restoring its central plaza, creating a new viewing area for the famous cliff divers and investing $300 million to refurbish the airport in 2015.

Much of the work is scheduled to be completed by next March when the city holds Tianguis Turístico, Mexico’s largest travel trade show.

The city also plans to revive international interest with a TripAdvisor ad campaign.

The United States Department of State’s current travel warning on the state of Guerrero excludes Acapulco although it advises travelers there to “exercise caution and stay within tourist areas.”

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