Something About Zih

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Thursday, August 03, 2017, 10:18 (417 days ago) @ Gringo Viejo

YES. Target markets must be penetrated for Z

Zihuatanejo is practically an entirely different market than Ixtapa. Though there are exceptions among my readers, in very general terms Ixtapa's mass market tourists could care less where they are as long as there's a beach, an air-conditioned room, something to fill their bellies, and copious amounts of alcohol available. Zihuatanejo tourists, on the other hand, are generally a world apart, seeking an entirely different experience and with an entirely different mindset. Some, particularly Canadians and other far-northerners, arrive early in the season and stay for months in affordable apartments owned by local families around the downtown area. Others seek the privacy and luxury of the small boutique hotels such as La Casa Que Canta, Viceroy, Villa Carolina, Casa Iguana, and Villas Los Arcos. And others are overjoyed to have a few days or a couple of weeks in our more moderate hotels and bungalows such as Catalina, Aura del Mar, Quinta Camelinas, Bungalows Vepao, Arecas Suites, Hotel Palacios, and Villa Mexicana. Then there are the numerous luxurious and moderate homes, suites and condos such as Casa del Platero, Casa Sandbar, Casa Parfait, Villa de la Roca, Villas San Sebastián, and Casa Amarilla. All of these places have a character that is quite distinct from the Ixtapa experience. Don't get me wrong, I love Ixtapa with all its faults, and there are some fabulous lodgings there, but Zihuatanejo is the heart and soul of the region, and the tourists and part-time residents who appreciate this tend to be more loyal repeat customers and to help us better promote Zihuatanejo by word of mouth. They are the folks who historically have made Zihuatanejo prosperous. Only in recent years with the defects in infrastructure and concerns about public safety have we seen a notable loss of tourism to Zihuatanejo (and a corresponding drop in property values) with the exception of the increased number of tour buses, and no amount of tour bus tourists with their near null purchasing power can sustain our population, no matter what a few ambulantes, taxi drivers and tour operators say. They are the wrong market for us to depend on or to try to grow. Same with the AI mass market tourists in Ixtapa's Zona Hotelera I with few exceptions, some who are frequent commentators here. ;-)

Instead of trying to offer what the mass market tourist wants, I strongly believe we need to refine our niche market and concentrate on appealing to the kind of tourist that is best for Zihuatanejo and the region. Mass market tourism tends to displace and kill communities. In Mexico it works best in places like Cancún that never had much of a local community to begin with. The major part of Zihuatanejo's potential prosperity was stolen by the construction of Ixtapa. For a while during the late 70's and throughout the 80's into the early 90's there was a mutual benefit, but Ixtapa kept building and growing at an unsustainable rate, and most of the thousands of impoverished people who now reside in Zihuatanejo and the region were formerly the construction workers brought here by out-of-town construction companies and then abandoned here, often without their last paycheck or severance pay, when the respective project was completed. Colonia El Aeropuerto is one of the most notable examples of this trend. Too little income generated by the hotels in Ixtapa remains in the region, while most of the income generated by Zihuatanejo's lodgings remains here.

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