Houston’s tourism bureau, Visit Houston, has launched an exchange program with the Mexico Tourism Board designed to use art to promote travel between the two countries in an era of “Trump talk.”
Among the many artists and chefs involved, for example, is a muralist playing off the theme of walls between the two countries; his murals, being painted on walls across Mexico, are “an opportunity to use walls to unite people and bring them together,” Visit Houston’s senior vice president of tourism, Jorge Franz, told the trade publication Travel Market Report during Mexico’s Tianguis Turistico held March 27-30 in Acapulco.
United Airlines has extensive service between Houston—one of its major hubs—and cities throughout Mexico. It is the city’s number one international source market, Franz said. More than 2 million travelers from Mexico visited Houston in 2015, he noted, spending an average $1,300 per person per trip, triple the spend of the average U.S. visitor.
Even with the negative attitude toward U.S. President Donald Trump on the part of an overwhelming majority of Mexicans, Franz said he expects travel from Mexico to remain flat this year rather than decrease.
In the United States, meanwhile, Houston is “doing a lot of training and fam trips with travel agents interested in investigating a new urban destination” with a blossoming assortment of culinary offerings recently highlighted by popular television journalist Anthony Bourdain.