Over the past few years, Mexico has had quite the image problem: escalating drug violence, a swine flu outbreak, canceled cruises. And though tourism numbers are surprisingly up this year—the first eight months of 2011 have seen a 1.8 percent increase in foreign visitors over the same period in 2010—the Mexican Tourism Board is trying new tactics to revive the country’s reputation on the world stage.
This month, the tourism board has released a new ad campaign called the “Mexico Taxi Project." The premise is simple: hide a camera inside a taxi, pick up tourists as they return from Mexican vacations, record what they’re saying about their trip, and broadcast it for other potential visitors. Think of it as Mexico’s answer to HBO’s Taxicab Confessions—with decidedly less sleaze and markedly more references to how nice the sunshine is in Baja.
You’ll hear visitors gush about the food, the weather, the golfing, the natural beauty, the nightlife, and everything in between. True, there’s something immediately compelling about testimonials from people who are so clearly unrehearsed. From a marketing standpoint, you can’t deny the power of authenticity. But you also have to wonder how many video clips of people complaining about Montezuma’s revenge have been left on the cutting room floor!
What do you think of Mexico’s new tourism commercial? Does it make you more or less inclined to visit the country?
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