Before the opening of Guangdong Tourism Expo, Newsgd interviewed the Consul General of Mexico in Guangzhou, Carlos Giralt to talk about the tourism exchange between Mexico and Guangdong.
Newsgd: Latin America is developing very fast. This time, the tourist expo sets up a Latin America hall. It’s a very important part in the expo next week. How’s your expectation of this tourism expo?
Carlos: Last year, 97,000 citizens from China visited Mexico, while around 55,000 or 60,000 Mexicans visited China. The numbers are not that big, but they are growing constantly. Now we dedicate to the Chinese market. For example, hotels and tour operators that have customized the services to cater the Chinese tourists. You will find menus in Mandarin inside the hotels. Mandarin is listed basically in hotels to make the Chinese tourists feel more like home. We try to customize the services that we provide to the Chinese tourists. Hopefully in future, more Mexican citizen could be seen in Canton.
Newsgd: What kind of exhibitors from your country will go to the Expo and what’s their expectation?
Carlos: Ansdar Dmc and Maneki Tours, these two companies will be present in the Expo, and they are all travel agencies. They will bring information, exposition, operator agencies, which group or individual tourists needed when they first time to visit Mexico. Basically, they will bring brochures, materials and sometimes they bring computers, so you would see video clips for the different tourist destinations in Mexico.
Travel agencies need to have some cooperation with the local tour operators. The local operators will send tourists safely to the destinations. Also, the local operators can ensure the safety of the activities at the destination. We want to attract the Chinese travel agencies bring more tourists to Mexico. We want to promote Guanajuato, Cancun, Mexico, Guadalajara, and all those wonderful places.
Newsgd: On September, the tourism bureau of Mexico would come to China, and will have more exchange on tourism. Could you please tell more about how the government would help to develop the tourism between the two countries?
Carlos: Mexican tourism bureau will visit China and do a tour in Beijing. They will seek the potential Chinese market and attract Chinese citizens who want to experience a unique journey. Chinese citizens hope to go further tour, and now aware of opportunities to visit the country like Mexico. Actually, the quality of the services in Mexico is very good, the prices are very affordable and people are very friendly. We open arms to welcome the tourists.
In the middle of this year, already 40,000 Chinese go traveling to Mexico. It is a growing number. Now, if you are a Chinese citizen, and you have a visa to the U.S. , Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Schengen area or other European countries, you can enter Mexico visa-free. What’s more, we are hoping in the near future, perhaps next year, a big Chinese airline will operate between Guangzhou and Mexico City which will facilities the business contact, but also greatly supports the tourism industry.
Last week, we have the road shows of the Pacific Alliance in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The four members of Pacific Alliance, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Columbia, decide to promote the tourism of these four countries. They went to different cities, and introduced the tourist places, to tell how you can visit these countries. The Pacific Alliance is like a free trade zone including Mexico, Peru, Chile and Columbia. So that in the future, you can go travel to the countries of Pacific Alliance easily. We don’t need visas among these countries. The alliance means they have close relation in trade, E-commerce, and services. We also plan to promote the tourism industry of the four countries together, to exchange more tourists, people, and services.
Newsgd: How do you think about of Guangdong?
Carlos: Actually, I stay here about two months and this is my first to visit China. Guangzhou is a beautiful big city and very impressive. I am impressed by the infrastructure, the services and the size of the city. I also have been into Shenzhen, Zhuhai，Foshan, Dongguan and Jiangmen.
Well, Shenzhen and Zhuhai have impressed me greatly, because of the economic vitality of these cities. Particularly, I was very impressed by the fact of Shenzhen. It was a small village several years ago, and it’s now become a humongous city. The new development of Zhuhai has also impressed me. The new area dedicated to enhancing economic relationship with the Latin America countries. The infrastructure built in this area is impressively focusing on the tying economy between China and Latin America.
Newsgd: How will you recommend Guangdong to people from your country?
Carlos: First of all, I would like to recommend the Canton Tower. It’s amazing and beautiful. By the way, the wonderful stores, the Opera House, the Guangdong Museum, the Guangdong Library are also worth to visit. There are many attractions in this city.
The food here is very good and delicious, such as the dim-sum and Wonton. It is very different from Mexican food. We cook it in sour flavors with lemon or spices, and some spices are from China.
Newsgd: Do you have any suggestions for Guangdong how to attract more tourists?
Carlos: I think Mexico city does very good example in the English signs on the street. The more signs in English or other languages in a city, the easier tourists can move around. This will help to make Guangzhou an international city.
Let me tell you something. In Mexico, many people may be familiar with the name of Canton, but they are not familiar with Guangzhou. So you have to tell them that Guangzhou and Canton are the same. You don’t need to replace “Canton” by “Guangzhou”. A slogan, “Guangzhou or Canton, One Great City” .