Mexico On Sale – But At What Cost?

June 29, 2009

Mexico For Sale

Mexico seems to be having a fire sale right now. Everywhere you turn, prices are being slashed.

The NY Times’ Michelle Higgins published her list.

National Geographic Traveler posted their review of this phenomenon.

Maribeth Mellin, award-winning Mexico travel journalist, said her piece here.

Certainly, the “epidemic of fear” paraded by the media in its headlines has had a dramatic impact on Mexico’s travel and tourism industry. All related business have had to drastically reduce their rates while attempting to maintain same service levels. To say this is a challenge is a gross understatement. If you add to that the fact that the global economic situation had already forced a worldwide travel “sale epidemic” of its own, Mexico tourism—with its extra cloud of doom over its head—has been reduced to cutting rates on already substantial discounts dictated by International competition.

Initially, and superficially I think, lower rates can entice some travelers to come back, but it’s a fine line (and a dangerous one) when tourism products (hotels, restaurants, tours, etc.) are forced to operate with little or no profit margins and STILL live up to expected standards. Travelers may come, but what will their experience be like and what will the impact be when they return home?

There are great travel deals right now. Amazing really, in some cases. But the industry won’t be able to keep this up without letting something go eventually. In Mexico, as in the rest of the world, staff must be paid, training must be given, maintenance must be on-going, and a certain level of quality is to be expected. Let’s hope that those that did visit us during the last few months are able to get the word out on the real situation and we can get back to what we do best; authentic, warm, unparalleled hospitality at a fair price for both traveler and supplier.

Because we’re all in the same boat, we also have some great deals going on at some of our finest Mexico Boutique Hotel properties. And while the prices may be unexpectedly low, we can say without a doubt that these hotels continue to offer their guests everything that is to be expected from an MBH member.