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This is Not another Destination Branding Article

Despite the contradictory metrics, Mexico continues to beat tourism records

I was assigned our company blog for the week. And while I scoured the net for inspiration regarding any recent news on Mexican destination branding, I kept getting distracted by the whirlwind surrounding our upcoming elections. So instead of focusing on branding in itself, I am going to focus on rebranding Mexico from a personal socio-political participation perspective. The following question from may be the same from both perspectives, but the framework and considerations will differ.

What is your vision of Mexico?

Mexico´s social, political and economic landscape is in upheaval, as it always seems to be, but this time strikingly more so. The upheaval has become a constant that affects our culture and national psyche. It has no doubt made us stronger, but then also cynical and weary, and it is now dividing us. It might be fair to say that we live for today because tomorrow brings no guarantees with her.

Some stats to ponder: Inflation peaked at 6.7% (milenio.com) at the end of 2017 and has some pundits predicting the unofficial rate of inflation could reach 15% (eldia.com). As if the possible cancelation of NAFTA were not enough to weary already jittery markets, the tit for tat imposition of trade tariffs has impacted both on import and export prices and has seen the peso sink to 20.54 pesos to the dollar (XE.com) in 2018. Violence in the country has increased reaching its worst rate in 20 years in October 2017 (elfinanciero.com) with a recorded 2,371 murders in that month alone.

According to El Universal, there are six daily abductions in the country, totaling just over 10,000 victims in less than 6 years. Our economy and exports continue to grow, as does our national debt and the corruption scandals that plague our 3 levels of government; epitomized by the 22 PRI governors that have pilfered an estimated 258 billion pesos (sinembargo.com), just one of a startling number of factors that contributed to Mexico falling 28 points in the global corruption index in 2017 (animalpolitico.com).

Despite this, during 2017 Mexico was not only one of the 10 most visited countries in the world, it also moved up two positions compared to the previous year to reach the sixth place in the global rank (SECTUR). Furthermore, in the first quarter of 2018, we beat our previous tourism record, and welcomed 10 million tourists into the country.

We have reason to both celebrate and mourn.

The popular reaction to, and concern over the impending elections, reflect the differences in how we view ourselves and each other, how we remember our past and what we demand from our future. 

Ask Mexicans what Mexico means, and the answers you´ll get will be as distinct as we are. The same applies when asked what we want of our future. Yet a month away from country wide elections, we have no clear view of what it is we are voting for, though we certainly know what we are voting against. But the 2 are not the same, and therein lies the problem.

We are seeking relief, if not salvation, from our politicians. We look outward for answers, when we need to be looking inward to define the country we want and the role, if any, we are willing to play in making that vision a reality.

Yes, we want less corruption, violence and impunity. We demand better access to health care, education and opportunity. But what does this look like? What will it cost? Are we willing to sacrifice a short-term gain for a long-term one? And what, if anything, does this require of us.

An election provides us with an incredible opportunity to have our voices heard. But it is just the first step in a long and precarious process in the rethinking, and repositioning if you will, of our country. Being unhappy with the status quo is not enough, we need to propose ideas and participate in the change. It is said that a people have the government they deserve, if our apathy and inaction outside the election booth continue to hold, this will sadly be truer than ever.

Daniel Gómez is Brand Strategist and Founding Partner of Mijo! Brands, a leading creative digital marketing agency with presence in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta.

In 2007, Daniel received his MBA from LSBU in London, England where he specialized in innovation. That same year, Daniel returned to Mexico to put into practice what he learned abroad in combined with his love for Mexico to create a new model of creative agency. Highlights among its abilities include the breadth of vision to connect the different phases of a process and deliver innovative solutions for brands in multiple sectors. Passionate about travel and food, he understands that changing your environment from time to time lends you other set of eyes and opens the senses to subtle differences, which is the key to uniqueness. His free time oscillates between sharing it with his boxer, "Sofi" and training to finish the CDMX Marathon in less than 4.5 hours.