Cultural Tourism in Mexico
What is Cultural Tourism?
Cultural Tourism is defined as "a journey made to get to know, understand and enjoy a set of distinctive traits and aspects, spiritual and material, intellectual and emotional, which typify a society of social group of a specific destination" (SECTUR-CESTUR, Strategic Study on the Viability of Cultural Tourism, 2002).
Cultural Tourism plays a very important role in the understanding, preservation and enjoyment of Mexico’s cultural and touristic heritage. When properly handled, cultural tourism brings with it, from a business perspective, customer satisfaction, conservation of heritage for tourism use and the economic and social development of communities through the generation of new jobs.
The Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) has identified the following sub-sectors to complement Cultural Tourism, making the most of Mexico’s wide and varied cultural offer.
Religious Tourism (29 kb )
Gastronomic Tourism ( 24 kb )
Language Tourism (31 kb)
Cultural tourism products are increasingly being promoted by other Government Agencies and Departments which have invested money in developing and consolidating them as part of the tourism industry.
SECTUR’s Cultural Tourism Development Program therefore aims to "coordinate efforts to ensure that this sector develops, strengthening mechanisms and instruments for the long-term benefit of cultural and natural resources, guaranteeing financial and social gains deriving from its projects".
Actions are being taken to help identify and provide infrastructure and equipment for this sector, creating strategic partnerships to develop and diversify alternative tourism products and helping the economic and social development of the host community and the country in general.
The Ministry of Tourism’s actions can be grouped under three main headings:
Product development, in the sense of placing a touristic value on Mexico’s cultural heritage.
Advice for municipalities, communities, social groups, cultural promoters and tourism service providers.
Communication and marketing, through meetings with tour operators and travel agencies.
The Program covers those tourism destinations or specific sites with a high tourism impact in terms of tourist numbers, financial earnings and creation of jobs, to include:
Archaeological Sites, Museums, Sanctuaries, Missions ( 43 kb)
The Cultural Tourism Program also includes the development of new tourism products at cultural sites, activities that highlight their charms and differentiate cultural destinations. Therefore, the Master Plan was drawn up for Identifying and Designing Cultural Tourism Products in Guanajuato, Morelia, Querétaro and Zacatecas (World Heritage Cities). This provided a tool to identify existing and potential tourist attractions and cultural displays (gastronomy, popular art, legends, local fiestas, cultural events etc.). These could form part of the range of cultural tourism products on offer depending on their type, originality, peculiarity or uniqueness, with each city’s differentiation and distinctive values (see publications).
There is also an Organizing Committee for cultural events to disseminate the benefits of links between tourism and culture as promotional activities for the wellbeing of the host communities and as decisive factors for the increased opportunities for the sustainable use of our cultural and natural resources.
This means that we can take advantage of the opportunity to create destinations with their own identity and authenticity, in order to offer tourism products that are competitive, differentiated and have added value. Also, a favorable environment is created in which to develop tourism activities that increase tourists’ lengths of stay and spending.
Cultural Heritage Legal Framework (87 kb)
For more information, please contact:
Cultural and Spa Tourism Development Department (Dirección de Desarrollo de Turismo Cultural y de Salud)
Presidente Masaryk 172, piso 7º, Col. Chapultepec Morales C.P. 11587, México, D.F.
Tel. (55) 3002-6300, Ext. 6311, 6306, 6307
Fax. (55) 3002-6357