Mexico City – Mexico plans to promote the links between tourism and culture at the Kultur 2011 forum, a gathering of experts from both industries June 15-17 in the tourist destination of Valle de Bravo, event organizers said.
"A product of its culture, Mexico has a very deeply rooted and rich identity, but its potential is limited from not sharing the stage with tourism, and its magic is forgotten," National Tourism Forum director Fernando Marti told Efe.
The gathering in Valle de Bravo, located in the central state of Mexico and known as the "Magic Town," is expected to be attended by business and cultural leaders, Marti said.
Participants will be able to attend seminars on different topics and arts presentations.
Cultural festivals and Mexican cuisine, recently given Intangible World Heritage status by UNESCO, will be among the topics discussed.
Mexico does not know how to "sell" its rich cultural offerings "due to a lack of tourism and urban infrastructure," former Deputy Tourism Secretary Sigfrido Paz Paredes said.
The country also lacks a policy of free competition in transportation and fails to promote private investment in the hospitality industry, Paz Paredes, who will take part in the forum, said.
Mexico's cultural institutions must make it easy for tourists to visit them instead of imposing "a thousand catches that only make them not want to visit us," Paz Paredes said.
Some 22.4 million foreign tourists visited Mexico in 2010, with the most popular destinations being the Riviera Maya and the Caribbean resort city of Cancun.