Friday, August 30, 2013


Baja California Registers Record-Breaking Summer Tourism Season - Visitors to Mexican State on the Rise in Midst of New Promotions and Improved Border Crossing

San Diego, CA, August 22, 2013 --( The office of the Baja California Secretary of Tourism announces the state's highest summer visitation numbers from Memorial Day to mid-July in more than five years. Based on the Hotel Association's data from the first week of July, during this time period Tijuana's average hotel occupancy in 2013 increased by 30 percent, while Mexicali's increased by some 16 percent and Ensenada's by six percent. All municipalities in Baja California showed year over year occupancy increases during this same week.

Furthermore, statewide hotel occupancy for the first half of 2013 is up six percent from last year. According to the office of the Secretary of Tourism, there were approximately 75,000 more vehicles registered on Scenic Highway 1 in 2013 compared to last year. Additionally, multiple cities have made considerable occupancy gains from first-of-the-year comparisons, which include year-over-year increases in Tijuana of nine percent and Mexicali by six percent.

"As a result of close collaboration in promotions between the state, municipal authorities as well as restaurant and hospitality sectors, we've seen a large influx of domestic and foreign visitors, as well as more participation in our 400-plus special events," said Baja California State Tourism Secretary Juan Tintos Funcke. "Events that are very popular among Americans, such as SCORE International's San Felipe 250 and Baja 500 off-road races and the Newport to Ensenada Regatta saw 25 percent more people in 2013 than in previous years, among many other confidence indicators."

Looking to next year, several new cruise ships will come to the Port of Ensenada. The Port of Ensenada, Mexico's most visited port after Cozumel, will add additional cruise arrivals by 2014, for a projected 65 percent growth rate compared to 2012. Princess Cruises will add seven arrivals of the Crown Princess and the Sapphire Princess, while Carnival Cruises will bring in the more ships to Ensenada, for a projected total 707,000 cruise visitors. This surpasses 678,000 passenger arrivals in 2007, previously the biggest year in the port's history.

With three quarters of cruise ship visitors coming from Southern California, the Cruise Committee of Ensenada will launch soon the "Back to Ensenada" program to lure these travelers back by land. The program offers cruise goers discounts to local merchants, as well as a voucher to return for a hotel stay of their choice, at a discounted rate. The committee is also investing to improve local excursions with more extensive tour guide training, and a bigger emphasis on English marketing and promotion of Ensenada's calendar of events and tourist offerings. The beach destination of San Felipe on the shores of the Sea of Cortez, a two hour drive from the border at Calexico, is also inviting tourist to return with a 20 percent discount card on hotels, restaurants, and shops, valid through Dec. 31, 2014.

In August, typically one of the busiest tourism months, border traffic flow through the San Ysidro Port of Entry will improve with the opening of five additional northbound inspection lanes. All 25 lanes will have double booths, allowing for up to 50 checkpoints to be open during peak times, which include holidays and weekends.

For more information about Baja California, visit 

About Baja California

 Located just south of San Diego, Baja California, Mexico offers stunning Pacific Ocean beaches, warm waters of the Sea of Cortez, forests, mountains, deserts and bays. The state's five municipalities, Ensenada, Mexicali, Playas de Rosarito, Tecate and Tijuana, have unparalleled landscapes of tremendous beauty. Visitors can enjoy a variety of attractions including sport fishing, bike riding, off road racing as well as explore the missions, cave paintings, wine country, and more. Visit, follow us on Twitter at @discoverbaja and like us on Facebook.

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