The Riviera Nayarit: Big Tourism Investments, Big Returns

A relative newcomer to the high-stakes game of luxury tourism investments, this paradise on Mexico’s Pacific Coast has parlayed its splendid natural attractions, rich culture, and highly skilled workforce into a winning hand for the business and leisure travel industries.

It’s been little more than a decade since the Riviera Nayarit stepped away from its role as Puerto Vallarta’s charming neighbor and strode into the international spotlight as a tempting destination for big-money investors in the leisure and business tourism sector. The region quickly became the largest income generator for the economy of its home state of Nayarit, which also relies on agriculture and fishing. In fact, over the past few years the Riviera Nayarit has attracted more private investment in the tourism industry than just about any other beach destination in Mexico.

Recent Tourism Investments

The Riviera Nayarit’s prime tourism investment possibilities were first identified over 20 years ago, with the opening of the Four Seasons in Punta de Mita, followed by the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Nuevo Vallart and a spate of national and global brands accessible to different budgets. However, it’s no secret that luxury is the Riviera Nayarit’s specialty.

Among the most recent developments were the completion of a multi-million-dollar top-to-bottom renovation of the Four Seasons and the opening of the Conrad Punta de Mita and the One&Only Mandarina. In 2021, Punta de Mita will welcome the 278-room Secrets® Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resort and the 363-room Dreams® Bahia Mita Surf & Spa Resort; the 59-bungalow Susurros del Corazón by Auberge Resorts Collection; the rebranding of the Grand Matlali Hills Resort & Spa, as a new all-inclusive brand extension concept of Delta Hotels by Marriott, the first of its kind in the world; and a second Iberostar property. In the works: a Ritz-Carlton Reserve Riviera Nayarit and a Fairmont Hotels & Resorts property in Costa Canuva, and a Rosewood Resort & Spa hotel.

Meetings in the time of COVID

The Riviera Nayarit was one of the first to join the list of global destinations earning the Safe Travel Stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), and as of publication date is operating at 50% capacity in hotels, restaurants, and beaches. Marc Murphy, managing director of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau, recently announced that 36 hotels in the destination have implemented protocols to facilitate COVID testing to comply with Canadian and US government requirements for travelers.

One of the youngest, trendiest destinations in Mexico, nearly half of its  18,650 rooms are in the luxury segment and there are more than 81,000 ft² of state-of-the-art meeting facilities—along with a highly-skilled professional work force, white-glove service, and amazing gastronomy, to mention but a few assets.

As the shift to virtual events has given way to the “new normal” of hybrid events and, slowly but surely, live events, the Riviera Nayarit’s offer will be a standout draw. Most—if not all—resorts that work with the MICE segment boast outdoor spaces large and small that allow planners to take full advantage of the region’s excellent climate and natural beauty, with specialty venues such as the La Patrona Polo & Equestrian in San Pancho and Punta Mita’s Pacífico, Sufi, and Kupuri (new) beach clubs as a particular highlight.

Mexico’s Pacific Treasure

True to the Riviera Nayarit’s unique definition of luxury—a holistic view that goes beyond the gilded box to experiences that enrich body and soul—visitors will find much to do along its 200 miles of coastline. Bird watching, whale watching (in season), diving, boating, hiking, surfing, and mountain biking in the lush jungle are just a few of the eco-friendly adventures available. A visit to artistic communities in villages like Sayulita and San Pancho are a must; championship golf is practically on tap; and its gastronomy runs the gamut, from local dishes like the grilled pescado zarandeado and San Blas’ banana bread, to award-winning dining experiences with exotic cocktails made with local spirits.

Connectivity

The Riviera Nayarit is served by the modern Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR), with connectivity to US gateways including Dallas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, San Jose, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Houston, Newark, and Denver.

Current information on all COVID-19-related topics, including connectivity and hotel openings, can be found at www.rivieranayarit.com/covid-19

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