Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday 16th January 2014…….an easy day.

So after three days of going around to all my activities today was easy and started at the tennis courts for two hours of as always great tennis…I do enjoy these mornings…the sunshine, the people I play with and the exercise.

Came home and had lunch and then went into town to a local hotel where there was a meeting for Canadians living in SMA hosted by the Canadian consul officials from Mexico city…it was an informative meeting and well attended.

After the meeting I went for a visit with Linda and Guy and they are doing well but Guy did not care for the cold weather last night.

Had a craving for hotdogs so I fired up the BBQ and they were good.

So now settled in watching tennis and life is good!!!

This was taken from the Travel weekly magazine



Mayor of central Mexico city sees opportunities in honor

By Johanna Jainchill

Mauricio Trejo, mayor of San Miguel de Allende, accepts a Conde Nast award.When San Miguel de Allende took the No. 1 spot in Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards for the "Top 25 Cities in the World" category, nobody was more triumphant than the city's mayor of one year, Mauricio Trejo.
The central Mexican city, a Unesco World Heritage Site, moved up from No. 8 in 2012's awards and this year topped Budapest and Florence, which tied for second, and last year's winner, Charleston, S.C., which tied for fifth this time.
Such a lofty award, Trejo said, should encourage Mexico to promote its cultural gems and not just its coastal regions, where the majority of the country's tourism promotion budget (70%) goes, according to the San Miguel de Allende Tourism Board.
San Miguel is famous for its fortified old town, which boasts 16th century Baroque architecture and has long been popular with U.S. expats.
Trejo, in New York in November to accept the award, said that San Miguel was a model for Mexican tourism, one that focuses on tradition and culture, not sun and sand.
"There are only 226 World Heritage cities in the world, and Mexico has 10 of them," he said. "Mexico offers sun and sand, but there are thousands of places around the world that offer beaches. Our biggest opportunity is in promoting our cultural cities."
Travel agents who specialize in Mexico say it can take some effort to persuade clients to experience the country's culture and traditions.
"I must educate my clients about the value of visiting the colonial cities of Mexico, and the art, history, food and the wonderful Mexican people," said Marianne Braly, owner of Now Voyager Travel in Huntington Beach, Calif. "San Miguel is a much more realistic Mexican experience than any of the beach resort cities. Unfortunately, most Americans want to only visit the beach resorts of Mexico, so many times I will try to incorporate a colonial city with a beach resort to give them a taste of real Mexico."
Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel ChurchShe said that San Miguel appeals to tourists who are "a little more well traveled and confident. … Always, when they return, they are so happy that I suggested a town like San Miguel to them."
Trejo, a former cable TV executive who said he left the private sector to help San Miguel "achieve its potential," said changes are in store that are making San Miguel more appealing to tourists. The Conde Nast award, he said, was the result of the hard work his team had done since he took office in October 2012.
"San Miguel is a different city now," he said. "Most of the budget goes to economic development, public spaces, education."
Noting that 83% of San Miguel's income derives from tourism, Trejo said that if the businesses keep up the tourist offerings — the hotels, restaurants, clubs and spas — while the city takes care of its poorer neighborhoods, San Miguel will be better for everyone.
"All areas of the city are connected," he said. "We have to invest in better classrooms and public spaces."
A large part of the new strategy, he said, was to invite all residents to be stakeholders, from street sweepers to businessmen.
"If you take care of people and invest in infrastructure in poor places, people will be happier and have bigger smiles for tourists," he said.
The Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar at the Rosewood hotel in San Miguel de Allende.The city is home to international events such as the Guanajuato International Film Festival, a jazz and blues festival and the La Calaca cultural festival, along with more than more than 90 hotels, including the luxurious Rosewood, the Casa Sierra Nevada and many boutique properties. Trejo said that the changes his administration put into place are working, evidenced by a 35% jump in hotel reservations over the last year, with 236,638 national and international tourists.
In addition, the city's hotel occupancy rate during summer weekends, its high season, was 82.9%, an 11.5% jump over 2012.
Trejo said the city has also done a better job of promoting how safe it is.
"San Miguel is one of the safest cities in the world," he said. "It's safer than Santa Fe, San Diego, of course safer than New York or Miami. … The biggest risk is you will never want to come home."
According to Braly, tourists are still jittery about Mexico in general.
"We are still fighting against the bad press and problems of violence and misconceptions towards Mexico in general," she said. "Travel to Mexico still has not returned to what is was, say, 10 years ago."
San Miguel will open its first convention center this year, giving it access to the meetings, conventions and incentives market.
Trejo said the center would not blemish the unique character of San Miguel, as it was purposefully kept small, holding only 1,200 people. He said San Miguel would attract high-quality, rather than high-volume meetings.
Trejo is also targeting the medical tourism market by investing $40 million to build a retirement center. He also signed an agreement with the state to invest $54 million into rebuilding San Miguel's art and design school and adding performance spaces. Trejo wants the city to attract artists.
"In the 1970s San Miguel was the capital of art in the Americas," he said. "We want that title back

Yashi Koshi!!!

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