On September 27 World Tourism Day was celebrated around the globe

On September 27 World Tourism Day was celebrated around the globe

Sep 30, 2015

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide. UNWTO encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, to maximize tourism’s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts, and is committed to promoting tourism as an instrument in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), geared towards reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development. UNWTO generates market knowledge, promotes competitive and sustainable tourism policies and instruments, fosters tourism education and training, and works to make tourism an effective tool for development through technical assistance projects in over 100 countries around the world. UNWTO’s membership includes 156 countries, 6 Associate Members and over 450 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and  environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide. UNWTO encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, to maximize tourism’s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts, and is committed to promoting tourism as an instrument in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), geared towards reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development. UNWTO generates market knowledge, promotes competitive and sustainable tourism policies and instruments, fosters tourism education and training, and works to make tourism an effective tool for development through technical assistance projects in over 100 countries around the world. UNWTO’s membership includes 156 countries, 6 Associate Members and over 450 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities. Moving more than one billion people across international borders each year, international tourism accounts for 9% of global GDP and...

Young entrepreneurs in Baja make life simpler for expats living in Mexico

Young entrepreneurs in Baja make life simpler for expats living in Mexico

Sep 30, 2015

Young entrepreneurs in Baja California have joined forces to make life simpler for expats and foreigners in Mexico. SimplePay, is an app for iPhone, Android, and Web, which will serve three key purposes. First, the app will allow users to pay utility bills and services such as CFE, Telnor/Telmex, Water, Gas, etc. SimplePay will also partner with government agencies and HOA administrations so that HOA fees of trust, fideicomisos, etc., can be paid all in the same place anywhere you are.   “Living for so many years involved in the American community in Mexico (Puerto Vallarta and now Tijuana) has opened my eyes to all the inefficiencies that Mexico has yet to offer. That is why we developed SimplePay, an app for Americans in Mexico who are used to efficient processes that exist in the US” says Oscar Herrera, CEO of SimplePay.   Other advantages will include purchase services online (insurance, utilities, real estate title, etc.) But my personal favorite is the on-demand assist. Through SimplePay’s app, users will be able to get a call-back from a bilingual assistant to help you in any circumstance. “It is very common for my english-speaking (rusty-spanish) neighbors to ask me for help translating to lawyers, doctors, cleaning lady, and more… So I said, let’s also develop a simple way for someone to request a call-back and a bilingual assistant will translate anything you need on-demand” said Oscar Herrera.   SimplePay is a must-download for expats in Mexico. The app will be ready in the fourth quarter of 2015 (Sept|Oct).   Service line-up is ready! Are we missing any? The people at Simple Pay is very excited to see their efforts of months coming to reality. The initial services you will be able to pay are outlined here. If we are missing any key services, there is still time to add them. Just fill out the form here and we will have it ready for you and other expats. Don’t forget to tell your friends about SimplePay and sign-up here to get a notification when the app is ready. Click to Share SimplePay on Facebook   ABOUT SimplePay – SimplePay is based in Tijuana, B.C. Mexico. Oscar Herrera (27) is...

Which are the most popular retirement destinations in Mexico?

Which are the most popular retirement destinations in Mexico?

Sep 29, 2015

On April 24th, 2015 authors Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher from International Living,  published an article titled: “Why Is Mexico Such A Popular Retirement Destination?” on The Huffington Post. Check out this piece, and you will find out why you need to put Mexico on your list for possible retirement spots. If you’ve ever been to Mexico, you’ve probably visited some of its beautiful beaches. But there’s a lot more to Mexico than beaches, and if you’ve never been there or if you are afraid to visit for one reason or another, you are missing out. San Felipe, Baja California  Mexico is one of the biggest and most diverse countries around. There really is something for everyone … lovely, temperate-climate mountain towns, a vibrant Renaissance-like capital city, rainforests and farmlands and yes, those absolutely gorgeous beaches. Today’s Mexico is not only amazingly diverse and exotic, it’s also far safer than the media would have you believe. And we won’t belabor this point because there is simply no way to convince the naysayers. The truth is that there are plenty of us who love Mexico. It’s a top destination for U.S. and Canadian tourists. Lots of international conferences are held in its many welcoming cities and resort towns. Mexico has also been a top expat destination for more than 60 years. We’ve lived here ourselves over the years, in the Lake Chapala, San Miguel de Allende, and Mérida. San Miguel de Allende, Gto.  Today, more U.S. and Canadian expats live in Mexico than anyplace else in the world — as many as a million of them, it’s said. There are many reasons for that, including the vibrant culture, an affordable cost of living and excellent healthcare. Expats in Mexico know that this country is an easy place to live. The climate is great, it’s close to home (you can easily drive to Mexico from the U.S. and Canada) and it is, simply, convenient. You can get fast Internet and see first-run films in modern cineplexes — in English. You can shop at big-box stores and eat at chain restaurants like Chili’s, Applebee’s, Burger King, and McDonald’s if you want to. But with Mexico’s culinary reputation, it’s doubtful you’ll care much about...

Peña Nieto demands ‘more humane response’ to illegal drugs

Peña Nieto demands ‘more humane response’ to illegal drugs

Sep 28, 2015

During the 70th United Nations General Assembly gathering in New York City, more than 140 heads of state and government are expected to weigh in during a weeklong debate. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto made a call on the world community to overcome its inertia and take a different approach to dealing with illegal drugs. “In Mexico, we believe in a more effective, more just and more humane response,” he said at the United Nations General Assembly. “The center of attention should be on the well-being and the dignity of the people.” Like other leaders who took to the podium Monday, Peña Nieto praised the United Nations for helping to promote peace in the decades since it was formed after World War II. ¿The world would not be the same without the United Nations organization,¿ he said. Peña Nieto urged world leaders to treat migrants with respect and repeated his country’s call to the United States to end the trade embargo against Cuba.   — by Michael Muskal...

Cuba Is Ready for Mainstream American Tourism

Cuba Is Ready for Mainstream American Tourism

Sep 27, 2015

Cuba has been a tourism giant in the Caribbean for years, catering to mostly Europeans and Canadians, but now is emerging as a leisure destination for Americans as well. Cuba offers the best of the both worlds, the hustle and bustle of Havana, the country’s vibrant capital rich with nightlife and incredible cuisine, and Varadero, a region stocked with some of the most undeveloped beaches in the world. For Latin America specialists, think Ambergris Caye in Belize. Many agents and operators have seen the writing on the wall and have also been legally selling Cuba already through the People-to-People Initiative, which requires Americans to take part in various cultural experiences in Cuba, essentially, as the name implies, putting them in direct contact with the people of Cuba with hopes of learning about the way of life in the country. Although there are many loopholes to getting to Cuba legally, general travel there is still technically illegal so getting there will have to be a part of People-to-People packages, which are now being offered from just about every major operator including Insight Cuba, National Geographic Expeditions, Mayflower Tours, Apple Vacations, Journeys International, Abercrombie & Kent and others. Most People-to-People flights leave out of Miami. However, all the chips are in place for mainstream air travel to Cuba, as JetBlue in July officially became the first major U.S. carrier to fly from New York/JFK to Havana. Cuba Travel Services Inc. is offering the weekly flight. It was also announced in August that American Airlines and Cuba Travel Services plan to operate the first charter flights between Los Angeles and Havana later this year. (The cruise industry is also jumping on the bandwagon. For a look at this aspect of Cuba tourism, stay tuned to www.travelagentcentral.com.) Cuba is trending because, to put it quite simply, people often want “forbidden fruit,” so naturally Americans have been pining to visit Cuba for years. But besides being once off limits, Cuba offers a look at the old Caribbean, including beaches with no high rises and affordable cuisine — and classic U.S. automobiles. Since experiential tourism isn’t always for the first-time traveler, we suggest pitching People-to-People tours to those who seek...