More growth at Siglo XXI, cruise port and Xcanatun

City's No. 2 convention center gets ready for 2020's Tianguis Turistico Mexico

A rendering of Siglo XXI's new facade was unveiled to reporters on Friday. Photo: Courtesy
A rendering of Siglo XXI’s new facade was unveiled to reporters on Friday. Photo: Courtesy

Merida, Yucatan — Investors are betting on more business and leisure travelers coming to Yucatan.

A presentation of plans to remodel the Siglo XXI Convention Center spilled over into other topics when Gov. Mauricio Vila announced the arrival of six new cruise ships at Progreso.

A major expansion at the Hacienda Xcanatun resort was also disclosed. The restored 18th-century henequen plantation signed an alliance with a giant hospitality investor, Singapore-based Banyan Tree Holdings, to grow from 18 to 50 rooms, Vila said.

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Further down the Merida-Progreso highway, the Siglo XXI renovation is timed to coincide with the 2020 international tourist fair. Being chosen to host the fair is a huge opportunity for Yucatan to show off to influential travel agents and tour operators.

Siglo XXI is the city’s second-largest convention center, behind the new Yucatan International Convention Center, which will be the main location of the Tianguis Turistico Mexico.

The 1990s-era Siglo XXI will take on a more contemporary look and grow from 13,000 to 22,000 square meters of construction. A new exhibition hall alone will be 13,000-square-meters big.

Work begins in September and events that were scheduled there will go to the new convention hall in the hotel zone.

He said the remodeling and expansion at Siglo XXI places Merida on the list of select cities with ample infrastructure to host large events.

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Bouncing from topic to topic, Vila Dosal said new cruise ships will be coming from Viking Ocean Cruises, Ponant, Royal Caribbean International, Carnival and Norwegian. He was fresh off a tour of a huge new ship that Carnival sends every other week from Galveston, Texas.

Just how often these new ships will dock in Progreso was not mentioned.

He associated Carnival’s move to meetings he held in Puerto Rico and New York City with the company’s executives. He said he told them about the state and federal government’s plans to upgrade Progreso’s infrastructure, making it a more appealing place to disembark.

He also cited recent news that Despegar.com ranked region as the No. 3 destination in Mexico for summer travel.

Source: Desde el Balcon

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