National Geographic is promoting the town of Tequila with the launch of an interactive guide on its lauded Geotourism MapGuide platform. The project took eight months to develop and cost around US$120,000. Mexico’s tourism board, the Tequila Development Council and the Jose Cuervo Foundation collaborated closely with the U.S. institution to create the format.
The end result, tequilatourism.com, is only the 18th map guide to be launched worldwide, and the first in Mexico.
The guides highlight lesser-known travel destinations with a unique cultural heritage.
According to Jim Dion, National Geographic’s sustainable tourism program manager, the platform was launched to inspire the preservation of unique cultural surroundings. “The most important part for me is the welfare of the local residents,” said Dion. “We work to get the opinions of the local residents and to involve small business owners.”
The guides feature beautiful photography, interactive maps, links to related websites and insights from locals.
The Tequila guide includes 137 points of interest relating to accommodation, eating, cultural activities and small businesses. For travelers it also offers the indispensable opportunity to connect with local residents and break cultural barriers.
“The number one desire of ‘Geotravelers’ is to share face-to-face experiences with the people who live there,” said Dion.
The state tourism board is hopeful that promotion by the National Geographic brand will help attract international travellers.
“We’re looking for an exponential increase in tourists,” said Jalisco Tourism Secretary Enrique Ramos Flores. “In three years, we could see a 20-percent increase.”
Cuervo Group Chairman Juan Beckman Vidal sees the project as a first step towards establishing a “Tequila road itinerary” that connects the town to the popular destinations of Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara and San Miguel de Allende.
Tequilatourism.com is up and running. To change the language from Spanish to English, scroll down to the language option in the bottom right hand corner. GR staff