International Tourism Fair of the Americas, FITA 2012
Centro Bancomer Santa Fe in Mexico City
September 20 to September 23

The Show…

I was invited by Ministry of Tourism of Mexico City and the Main Office of Fita to attend this show and to see a bit of Mexico City afterwards.

You are in for a wonderful surprise if you haven’t visited Mexico City in a while ... sure it is a huge city but as I found out, it just takes a little longer to get some where and the wait is worth it. I had never stopped to visit this city, only passed through the airport on my way to some where else but because I was invited to attend FITA, I was able to do two things. Take in a super great show that for a tour operator is one stop shopping and see some of this beautiful city while there.

The hotel that I would be staying at was in the Santa Fe area of DF. It’s pretty ultra modern in comparison to Mexico City itself. Architecture that has garnered both compliments and condemnation, but what ever you choose to call it, the area demands to be seen. It is green with trees and plants and by some of the buildings they have even done the landscaping to marry with the design of that building. I loved this area. It is higher than the rest of the city as it is on a hill (in fact the highest point in Mexico City) and then when you are at the Distrito Capital Hotel, you are even higher as the lobby is on the 5th floor and the rooms begin in the mid 20th floor. What a view from these rooms, and there are only 30 rooms and suites. The ceilings are at least 20 feet tall and if too bright you can press a button and the window blinds come down to make it cosier. The rooms are quite modern, in black, white and grey and laid out with everything you could need. The only thing I saw that was missing was a water kettle to make your own tea and bottled water – I then found out that you can get water at reception but why they do not keep it in your room, I wondered…especially in Mexico! The lobby area is where the bar and pool are as well as the restaurant. I enjoyed sitting around the pool area with my netbook and a great latte. The pool looks like black slate and is very sleek and modern with steps descending to around the 5’ depth. In the early morning you can see the steam rising off the water. It’s surrounded by plant material and a cover so you won’t get rained on … as well as huge lounges to lay on – on each table were these lovely tiny vases full of bright yellow marigolds.

Now I also have to say that this hotel is very hard to find … the only sign we saw was the huge sign at the top of the hotel. No where did we see one on the street, but then again with all the business in this area the hotel is full very often. Even our coach driver had trouble finding it the first time and had to ask. It is a short walk down to the mall from here and it is a very posh mall. There are other eatery’s around here as well as the very handy 7/11 store.

Santa Fe is very important to business with many multinational companies here. Gosh there is even a Nobu close by! We were very lucky to stay at this hotel as we discovered that the Centro Bancomer Santa Fe was right in this very area so a very quick coach ride to the convention center. Mexico City is today one of the biggest cities in the world. It is a cosmopolitan city filled with lights, colors, tastes, sensations and the unparalleled warmth of its people. Here, opposite worlds meet in a unique blend of a multicultural past and the futuristic designs of the future. Architecture is all over the map and somehow it all fits. You will never tire of seeing the city nor get bored. If you want to see much better photos that what I took of some of the loveliest buildings there visit
And these are just the new ones … the old buildings are equally breathtaking. Mexico City is home to an extraordinary array of tourist sights, such as four World Heritage Sites: the Historic Center, Xochimilco, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and the Luis Barragán House and Studio. Among the many things that make Mexico City one of the most alluring cities in the world are the museums, archaeological sites, colonial and modern architecture, shopping malls, zoos, theaters, the gastronomic diversity, and many other things showcasing its rich culture. Mexico City offers its visitors an impressive range of hotels with over 657 welcoming over 12 million visitors a year. Its gastronomic diversity has been praised by Forbes, naming it one of the world’s best cities to eat. FITA was great! FITA gathers the industry’s most prominent figures: wholesalers, tour operators, transport companies, hotels, event planners, travel agencies, official tourism institutions, convention offices and visitor offices, as well as the most representative tourism media for the benefit of exhibitors and professional visitors. Fita received over 2,000 national and international buyers, including 25 specialists in business and conventions. Coming from approximately 55 countries, they had the chance to arrange over 25,000 business meetings with more than 3,000 exhibitors. 60,000 people interested in the industry attended the fair. Fita also welcomed 5,000 tourism professionals. A great highlight was the FITA GOURMET. Here we had the chance to sample foods, wines, mescal, traditional beer, cheese, ice cream, coffee and more. There were chefs there as well preparing special dishes. For me, it was an opportunity to visit lots and lots of booths to see what each had to offer and pick up brochures on them. Walking around the show area was like walking through Mexico. Each area was represented and showcased what made it special. There were also other countries there as well so I made sure I walked to each of them to visit their booths. In the foyer of the convention center they had a display of Mexican artists’ works so took a few photos of those as well. There is one thing I have discovered living in Panama…the artwork of countries like this is so incredibly colourful and unusual, it never fails to surprise me.

Once you arrive into Mexico City, look for the Mexico City Pass  your pass to many sights of interest.

With 30 centuries of history, over 6,000 miles of coastline, 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the world's most dazzling assortment of resorts, 40,000 archaeological sites, 110,000 registered monuments, vibrant indigenous culture and a 300 year Spanish/European Colonial legacy, Mexico is unparalleled in diversity, hospitality, and the quality of its visitor experience.




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