News network CNN recently published its list of ‘21 Places To Go in 2021’, with Mexico and its beach destinations standing out and, of course, of Puerto Vallarta.
In an era where tourism is part of the global parlance, CNN claims it continues to monitor the horizon, expectations for the gradual reopening of world destinations, and steps to fulfill travel dreams.
The list includes destinations around the world that arouse travel intentions on the five continents, due to their great natural attractions, culture, activities and of course, the bio security they offer. The editors clarify that they are not "hidden gems," but destinations to "play it safe" and spend a fun vacation for the whole family.
Last year, even with the pandemic, Puerto Vallarta was included in several lists as one of the most desired destinations by travelers from North America and Mexico. The reopening of the world's destinations, once the strictest confinement had passed, was highly anticipated, and this port city remained present in the minds of travelers for its recognized qualities.
The 21 destinations to visit this year according to the CNN list in strict alphabetical order are: Antarctica, Canada, Disney Parks, Dubai, Egypt, Spain, France, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Hawaii, Italy, Japan, Maldives, Mexico, New Zealand, New York, United Kingdom, Singapore, Thailand and Uruguay.
Mexico’s Tourism Secretary published a list ranking the country’s destinations producing the highest tourism wealth, placing Puerto Vallarta 5th on the list.
The ranking is the result of processing the statistical information gathered through the 2019 Economic Census and other measuring instruments from several organizations such as Inegi, Coneval, Sedatu, Conapo and Pnud.
Cuauhtémoc Municipality in Mexico City tops the list, followed by Cancun in the Benito Juarez municipality of Quintana Roo, with Monterrey, Nuevo Leon in third place and Miguel Hidalgo municipality coming it at four.
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, places fifth and Leon, Guanajuato sixth. There’s also Guadalajara, Jalisco; Puebla, Puebla; Tijuana, in Baja California, and Benito Juárez, in Mexico City make up places 7 through 10, respectively.
During the last week of December, Mexico kicked off its vaccination campaign against COVID-19 using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. According to Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the vaccine is free and universal, depending only current availability to administer the vaccine.
With healthcare workers prioritized, the first person to be vaccinated last Thursday was Maria Irene Ramirez, head of nursing at the intensive care unit of the Ruben Lenero Hospital in Mexico City, the capital and one of the regions hit the worst by the pandemic, with 302,199 confirmed cases and 20,472 deaths, reports Xinhua news agency. At the launch ceremony, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell noted that while the pandemic is not over, "with the vaccine it will be possible to combat it more effectively."
"Today, December 24, vaccination against Covid-19 begins and today the management of the pandemic changes with a light of hope," said Lopez-Gatell during the event, which was broadcast live as part of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's daily morning press conference.
Vaccination began a day after the first 3,000 doses arrived from Pfizer-BioNTech laboratories, the first of 1.4 million doses expected to be delivered by January 31, 2021. Mexico currently accounts for the world's fourth highest coronavirus death toll and the 13th largest caseload. As of Friday, the country's overall confirmed cases and deaths stood at 1,350,079 and 121,172, respectively.
Source: Banderas News
No home, office, school or reunion in Mexico let January 6th pass unnoticed. On this day, known as the Day of the Magi or of the Three Wise Men, tradition obliges you to share a "rosca", a large ring-shaped pastry with a small doll hidden inside.
The doll embedded in the Rosca de Reyes represents Baby Jesus, and whoever is fortunate enough to find it in their slice of rosca acquires the commitment to give a party on the following February 2nd, Candlemas Day, a celebration where tamales and atole, a corn-flour dish and a corn-based drink, are a must on the menu.
Gold, Incense and Myrrh & many other gifts: Santa Claus bringing presents to Mexican children is actually very recent and is not the one that prevails in rural areas, nor in all the social spheres within our cities. Santa Claus might pay a visit, but the Three Kings will never fail to appear at dawn on January 6th, to keep - following their legendary journey carrying gifts and guided by a shiny guiding star, all the way to Bethlehem to worship Baby Jesus - their appointment with all our children.
The Kings finally arrive on January 6th: when the children wake up, anxiously opening the gifts that commemorate Epiphany, and later that evening everyone gathers to share the rosca de reyes. It is then that the Infant Jesus' future godfather is designated.
The Great Tamale Party: Tradition has it that the responsibility of the godparents elected on January 6th shall dress up the Holy Baby. In days preceding the event, it was quite common to read signs on houses that offer services in that specialty: We dress "Holy Infants". After having presented the Child at church, accompanied by those who shared the rosca, it is time to celebrate the occasion with a tamale feast offered by the godparents.
On January 7th the party is over, schools return to their schedules and all you can find in the trash cans are paper plates and small little dolls that surprised their discoverer.
Click HERE to read a lot more about the January 6th Celebration in Mexico.
During the first two weeks of December, Vallarta’s Airport is scheduled to receive 673 flights, an increase of 18% over the same period in November, according to reports from Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP).
From the data GAP released, United Airlines has the most flights to the region with 141 frecuencies, and on the national front Aeroméxico will register over 80 flights during the two weeks.
Hotels are reporting upward trends in December reservations, specially for the last two weeks of the year, with most of their efforts focused on increasing sales for January and having the best possible winter. As a reminder, hotels maintain a maximum of 50% occupancy during the pandemic.
Luis Villaseñor Nolasco, interim director of the Public Trust for the Promotion and Tourist Advertising of Puerto Vallarta, is optimistic about the year end given the current trends and also points out new COVID-19 cases have dropped over 50% when comparing November to October, which should make travelers confident about Vallarta.