Chicago posts record 55 million tourist arrivals last year

Chicago has set another tourism record in 2017 with 55.2 million arrivals, up 2.5% from 2016. That equates to an increase of 1.4 million. The city’s tourism industry now supports an estimated 146,500 jobs, said mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Tourism in Chicago means jobs throughout Chicago. By continuing to set new tourism records and bring millions more people to Chicago every year, we are generating economic opportunities that reach every Chicago neighborhood.” The 2017 total actually meets Choose Chicago’s original target of 55 million arrivals two years ahead of schedule. Chicago hotel room occupancy grew 3.3% in 2017, and the leisure market swelled by 6.3%. Last year saw the debut of five new hotels with another eight scheduled to open in 2018. The convention and meetings industry also showed positive growth in 2017, which the mayor’s office called ‘another encouraging industry trend.’ “Our goal now will be to harness this momentum and continue to build upon it,” said Desiree Rogers, board chair of Choose Chicago.

Puerto Vallarta celebrates its 100th anniversary with Charro Championship

Puerto Vallarta’s vibrant cultural events will be celebrated with all-the-more fanfare and enthusiasm this year as the city celebrates its 100th anniversary. The first of major events to take place throughout the year is the 7th International Charro Championship with a cultural component taking place on Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon on January 31st and the competition to be held from February 1st – 4th in Arena Vallarta, located approximately 40 minutes from Puerto Vallarta’s hotel zone. Inscribed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2016, the Charreria, or Charro Championship is an authentic celebration of the traditional Mexican Charro lifestyle, and very much a part of Jalisco’s living heritage. A type of highly festive and colorful rodeo featuring Charros, or traditional Mexican horsemen, exhibiting their skills at horse reining, bull riding, livestock roping and other equestrian talents. The Charreria is considered Mexico’s national sport and is not only an art form but a sport with strict rules and important prizes.This year’s Championship will feature top local Charros, including the National Champions Escaramuza El Porvenir, and teams from all over Mexico.

Viceroy Hotel Group has announced plans for a new luxury hotel in Los Cabos.

The hospitality brand has taken over management of the Hotel Mar Adentro, which was originally created by Mexican architect Miguel Angel Aragonés. The hotel will relaunch as the Viceroy Los Cabos, representing the 14th property for the group, and a member of The Viceroy Icon Collection. The reopening is scheduled for spring 2018, to coincide with its hosting the 2018 “Gala de Danza” dance and music festival. Aragonés is considered one of the top architects in Mexico. Viceroy said that those renovations will be developed in collaboration with Guadalajara-based design firm Al Arquitectura de Interiores, and will include updates to the property’s arrival experience, the addition of a beach bar and beach pool, and an expanded, redesigned fitness center and spa. Additionally, two of the property’s four existing dining outlets will be structurally updated and re-concepted. Upon completion, Viceroy Los Cabos will have 194 rooms, suites and villas, as well as 50 residences. Other resort amenities will include a movie screening room and versatile meeting spaces. The property is set on the San José del Cabo beachfront near downtown San José del Cabo.

Los Cabos Wins IAGTO Award as 2017 Latin America & Caribbean Golf Destination of the Year

The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), a global trade association of the golf tourism industry, has named Los Cabos, Mexico as the ‘Latin America & Caribbean Golf Destination of the Year’ for 2017 in recognition of its exceptional golf courses and unique geographical setting. The announcement of this benchmark accolade was made at a gala awards dinner at the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) held this year in the city of Palma, Mallorca. Los Cabos which is situated at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, at the place where the Sea of Cortes meets the Pacific Ocean, boasts an extraordinary mountain-desert-ocean environment where the game’s top designers have crafted some of the world’s finest courses. Set back from the shoreline’s sun-drenched beaches and sparkling waters are more than a dozen exquisite layouts built by luminaries such as Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Greg Norman, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and Tiger Woods. With two courses on GOLF Magazine’s “Top 100 Courses in the World” list and seven of the top 11 courses in Mexico based on Golf Digest’s  “Planet Golf” report, Los Cabos is the undisputed golf capital of Latin America.