The Performance of the Destination’s Commercial Sector

Vallarta · Nayarit’s commercial sector is an economic area experiencing constant growth, largely spurred by high hotel occupancy in recent years, generating better jobs and services for both residents and visitors.

Gabriel Igartúa Sánchez, president of COPARMEX Vallarta (the local branch of the Mexican Confederation of Employers), shared his impressions with us regarding the performance of the area’s commercial sector, as well as the challenges it faces.

“As a voluntary membership organization, we work to achieve harmony between entrepreneurs and workers through the application of a new labor culture. With this objective in mind and taking into account recent trends, we expect that by the end of 2017 the overall hotel occupancy rate will be 98 percent. Undoubtedly, this will be a strong incentive for entrepreneurs to continue investing to create and/or bring a greater diversity of businesses, adding to those already involved in the great business opportunity that exists in this area,” he says.

When asked about the presence of these major brands and what it implies for residents and visitors, Igartúa Sánchez noted two effects: “First, the quality of the products and services offered here is elevated. Second, both visitors and residents benefit from having access to exclusive stores that are usually found only in large cities or other types of tourist centers in the country.”

The Peso Versus the Dollar + Donald Trump

“The parity of the peso against the dollar is due to the growth of the foreign economy, which benefits local trade through visitors with greater purchasing power, as well as clearer and broader possibilities for investing. At the national level, the exchange rate is used as a method to improve exports, and these figures generally impact the tourism industry, which in turn generates a strong economic impact on the commercial sector.”

Following Donald Trump’s election, expectations for growth in Banderas Bay’s commercial sector have continued to rise. “However, it is expected that by 2018 Mexico’s national economy will tighten due to the upcoming state and federal elections.”

The Most Successful Business Turnaround in Vallarta · Nayarit

“Although the economic impact is centered on the hotel industry, the most significant business turnaround over the years in our destination’s commercial sector has been that of services, restaurants and bars, malls and department stores, which together account for 40 percent of the total businesses registered in the area.”

The Challenges Facing the Commercial Sector

“It is important to note that, as a tourist destination, we will always depend on hotel occupancy. Therefore, the greatest challenge is to renew what we offer tourists and promote business competitiveness. We are in a changing and technology-filled world where consumers are increasingly demanding about their travel and/or shopping experiences. Another of the main challenges is maintaining and improving security. Currently, our crime levels are very good, but they can always be improved. Carrying it out efficiently will mean consolidating at the national level.”

And What Would Happen If…

Posed the hypothetical situation that Vallarta · Nayarit was left without the hotel industry, Igartúa Sánchez explained how the commercial sector would be affected: “We need to understand that both economies are complementary to each other. One cannot subsist, much less evolve, without the other. I believe that if tomorrow we were left without tourism, the destination’s population would begin to decrease drastically—to maybe only 30 percent. Puerto Vallarta would have to return to its fishing village roots… to reinvent itself.”

“The growth of the destination’s commercial sector can be seen in the diversity of commercial centers and malls that are under construction or have recently been opened, as well as the region’s increasingly vibrant gastronomic and entertainment scenes. We have it here, and it is everyone’s job to keep it going strong,” he says.