The mayor of Mérida visits Miami, bringing gift bags. Photo: Ayuntamiento

Miami, Fla. — Giving a group of American travel agents a taste of the White City, Mayor Mauricio Vila Dosal visited the Florida metropolis on a mission.

More than 30 travel agencies heard the mayor pitch Mérida’s charms and conveniences.

He also brought gift bags, filled with items and literature that reflect Mérida’s heritage.

On the same trip, Vila met with the president of the University of Miami, Dr. Julio Frenk Mora, to establish academic links between the two cities.

Miami, whose airport flies directly to Mérida, is a key link to the Peninsula and the United States. Miami’s airport, of course, connects to destinations around the world. But officials here were mainly thinking of the 1,300 seats that Aeromexico and American Airlines offer between the two cities every week.

During the tourism event, Vila pointed out that Mérida offers much to national and international tourism. The city is a destination with great cultural, natural and gastronomic wealth, and enjoys the advantage of being the safest city in the country.

In his speech he noted that Mérida is an ideal destination to rest or do business and has been designated for the second time as the American Capital of Culture, offering during this year a slate of more than 12,000 cultural and artistic events, all free and of high quality.

The year of cultural splashes will culminate with the arrival of the replica of the Sistine Chapel and a Fito Páez concert, among other events.

He also listed some of the awards that were bestowed on Mérida last year, such as the Best Destination City for Workshops and Conventions 2016, by the Conventions Magazine of Latin America; Best Gourmet Destination in Mexico, by the Food and Travel Readers Awards; and one of the top 10 destinations to visit in 2017 according to Lonely Planet magazine.

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