“Way of Guanajuato, that you go through so many people. “It is a stanza of the legendary song Mexican composer José Alfredo Jiménez. A corrido that already in the mid-twentieth century tried to summarize all the beauties hidden in this pearl of Mexican tourism.
And it is that the first image that comes to the head of the tourist when he thinks of Mexico is that of the Cancun beaches, the Chiapas jungle or the pyramids of Teotihuacán.
But among the main destinations in the country is the state of Guanajuato, axis of the country’s colonial past, which in the 2021 edition of Fitur presents all its offers arranged to the reopening of tourism in a summer in which the coronavirus pandemic begins to subside thanks to vaccination campaigns.
Juan Jose Alvarez Brunel, Secretary of Tourism of Guanajuato, points out 20 minutes later that the state’s tourist offer is wide: it goes from the great colonial capitals, classified as World Heritage, such as Guanajuato capital or San Miguel de Allende, to the magical towns (distinctive that is grants in Mexico to unique locations), archaeological zones, wine tourism and gastronomic routes.
Juan Jose Alvarez Brunel
Secretary of Tourism of Guanajuato,
“In the a lot of pride to have such a vast land, with so much tradition, history, culture, so many references from those different times, “says the Secretary of Tourism.
Founded in 1557, the city of Guanajuato, capital of the state (the equivalent of an autonomous community) of the same name, grew with the impulse of mining during the Viceroyalty and was one of the most important capitals of New Spain.
That colonial strength has preserved in the architecture of the city in such an optimal way that it was declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity along with another neighboring city, San Miguel de Allende.
“They were references on the Camino Real de la Plata, the one that linked the cities of Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí with Mexico City, where the silver was taken to be converted into bullion and then brought to Spain “, explains the head of Tourism.
The result is a city, Guanajuato, full of colonial buildings that have survived the passage of time, old tunnels, intertwined alleys and alleys where you can combine the ancient legends of old Mexico with the current gastronomic and cultural offer.
In addition, the capital is home to the International Cervantino Festival, that every autumn brings together scenic proposals around the figure of Cervantes,
Last year the pandemic caused the event out only online, but this 2021 it will recover the face-to-face sessions in a “hybrid program”, confirms Álvarez Brunel.
Magical towns, archaeological sites, ecotourism …
In addition to the main cities, the state has six magical towns: Mineral de Pozos, Dolores Hidalgo, Comonfort, Jalpa de Cánovas, Yuriria and Salvatierra.
Also has five pre-Hispanic archaeological zones, that witness the passage through the region of the Chichimecas, Cóporo, Arroyo Seco, Plazuelas, Peralta and Cañada de la Virgen.
And closely linked to this is tourism in natural areas, Álvarez Brunel points out that the state has a large reserve of protected areas where to carry out tourism activities of adventure, ecotourism or hiking.
“We know that Spaniards love hiking, or to enter in a safe way in protected natural areas “, indicates.
Business and meeting center
But tourism, which represents 10% of the state’s GDPIt is not the only powerful branch in the Guanajuato economy. Álvarez Brunel stands out in the development of the region in the wine industry and as a business center, as well as in other sectors where it has always been thriving, such as agri-food and textile.
It also has in another large city, León, one of the most important centers in the leather and footwear industry.
“In addition, Guanajuato has evolved as major producer of the automotive industry and that combination makes the state a very important place, “he adds.
This economic activity has meant that, for example, León is the spearhead in business tourism and has the fifth place in Mexico as a congress and exhibition center. A fairground of 85,000 square meters is also preparing to relaunch this type of event with anti-Covid measures.
Measures against coronavirus
Mexico, as in other countries, advances in its vaccination strategy (It is already ending with the senior segment and they are starting with that of adults under 60 years of age) and maintains restrictions against the pandemic, although not as severe as those seen in Europe.
One of the measures adopted to guarantee the visitor health security has been the implementation of Guanajuato Sano stamp. “It is the sum of the good practices of all the tourism sectors so that they could be implemented in the places of services, hotels, restaurants, tourist transport, museums, shops, commerce in general”, says Álvarez Brunel
The guidelines have been implemented in 3,500 tourism companies. “Whoever visits us today will be able to see this stamp throughout the state that tells you that the necessary hygiene measures are available there.”
Another recurring issue that worries visitors is the security in Mexico. Álvarez Brunel acknowledges that the country is going through a “complex situation”, but that Guanajuato, in coordination with federal authorities, has implemented concrete measures to make tourism feel “as quiet as possible”.
Among those measures is that of a Tourist Police that constantly patrol the main highways in the region and reinforces municipal security. “There is a continuous presence, but without being invasive,” he explains.
Thus, Guanajuato seeks to be one of the references of Mexico in Fitur 2021. Colonial cities, magical towns, Chichimeca pyramids, Cervantes work … “We are ready to receive you“, concludes the Minister of Tourism.