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Basics

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Wednesday, November 08, 2017, 13:54 (9 days ago) @ Gringo Viejo

The purpose of the marketplace is to meet the needs and wants of the customer, real or imagined.

Zihuatanejo has a lot to offer but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be offering a service/product that the marketplace is looking for. Once the want or need is identified then the product/service is comprised of the the 4 Ps: Place, Product, Price, Promotion.

Zih must get the horse before the cart, that is, identify the wants and needs and the marketplace. There are a number of methods used to successfully complete this process, focus groups being one. Indeed, at this point Zih doesn't even know who the marketplace is let alone knowing what they want so that it nail down what it wants or needs.

Back to basics, back to basics.

I appreciate all the feedback this post has been getting. Thank you to everyone who has responded so far.

Except for the part about being BASIC, I couldn't disagree more with the comments above. Not everyone likes scotch or sweet potatoes or jazz. But those who do learn to identify the quality and characteristics they like. Same goes with Zihuatanejo. I have always said that Zihuatanejo isn't for everyone nor does it aspire to be, but here you (and others) are suggesting that it should conform itself to the market because the market rules. WRONG. How can people who don't know anything about a place know what they want from it? Most folks seeking a vacation destination are NOT looking for the simple rustic offerings of Zihuatanejo, and that is fine. Let them go to Punto Peñasco or St. Pete Beach or wherever there are McDonalds and KFCs and where everyone speaks English and posts prices in dollars. Zihuatanejo is what it is, and its repeat visitors like it as much for what it is as for what it isn't. The moment it starts competing for folks seeking Miami Beach or Disneyland or Cancún or Los Cabos or even Vallarta, it will only continue to lose to those places. You should never try to be what you aren't even though it seems a lot of people waste enormous amounts of time, effort and money doing just that, trying to be what they aren't and failing miserably, proving the constant truth of the Peter Principle. The same goes for vacation destinations.

I see Zihuatanejo as a niche market. It's the perfect place for folks looking to experience an honest down to earth real Mexican community while having the modern conveniences that Ixtapa offers nearby. Similar to Vallarta but smaller, more intimate, less contrived, and more authentic. Zihuatanejo is generally for the more adventurous, Ixtapa for the less so.

If you need to be entertained with attractions and sideshows, go to Florida or Cancún. If you want to relax and enjoy nature, we're your place.

Adding Disneylandish attractions to play the mass market game such as offering enslaved dolphins suffering their existence in a swimming pool or noisy ATV's to ride all over our beaches squishing sea turtle eggs and terrorizing other beachgoers is like prostituting oneself, and I certainly hope we don't go any further down that road than we've already gone. It has already failed us miserably. It's not who and what we are, and other places do it much better because that's what they're all about, it's their main attraction, so leave it to them and seek out vacationers who are couples and families, fishermen, surfers and nature lovers. Folks content to RELAX on vacation, experience local Mexican culture and enjoy warm friendly people and delicious food. People unafraid to try to speak our language as they venture out to discover and explore our community. There are already enough Miami Beach type destinations. There are very few places like Zihuatanejo, and because we haven't been taking care of the goose that lays the golden egg we've been losing our natural market to other places that offer what we used to. We don't need noisy bars, shady casinos, sad enslaved animals, or bright flashing lights. We need affordable flights, peace & quiet at night (and it would be nice during siesta time), upkeep of our basic infrastructure, and basic law & order.

But if we go the Disneyland route then new folks will be brought in to operate the new attractions, meaning locals remain sidelined from the prosperity they should be enjoying (Ixtapa already has done this to locals to a large degree), and we lose our own identity and become something we are not. Not to mention the eventual economic failure as we lose to the natural markets competing for the same tourists.

So I say we need to fix what we've stupidly allowed to become broken. We need to address our old neglected problems, especially in the case of Zihuatanejo. Ixtapa requires different measures than Zihuatanejo to recover its own glory, measures that I won't go into now. We need to define our vision for the future, plan for it carefully, and adjust our model accordingly to meet those goals.

Our current tourism model is totally undefined and extremely unsustainable, and it is destroying our natural attractions. Right now it's every man for himself, and especially in Ixtapa it has become toxic for the local economy. If we are to remain a destination for nature lovers seeking peace and tranquility then we need to clean up our bay, protect our coral reefs, upgrade our infrastructure to include parking areas and public bathrooms at our beaches, and reverse the process that has allowed downtown Zihuatanejo to become an open all-night cantina and open urinal. And we need to take our community back from the organized criminals. Until then, everything else is cheap talk.

Just my humble opinion from a lifetime living in tourist destinations. Your mileage may vary, especially if you came here from somewhere else to suckle from our cash cow. :2c:

Saludos.


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