MMIP 2012 - (Page 26)

THE RIGHT STUFF MEXICO IS CLOSE BY Flight times from the U.S. are short and there are hundreds of daily flights that connect cities throughout the United States with resorts and cities across Mexico. “This makes Mexico a perfect international option for incentives and meetings, which average three to four days,” says Mike Budrovich, vice president of industry relations for Maritz Travel. “Mexico is a perfect destination even if you’re doing a three-day program,” advises Johan Marzoki, account executive with Chicago-based BCD Meetings & Incentives. With many flights only two to three hours or less, “you can’t get any better than that,” says Marzoki. From California, Arizona or Texas, it’s even closer and more accessible. (See Here and There for airport info, page 12.) VALUABLE TAX BREAKS “The zero percent VAT (Value Added Tax) is very important,” says Marzoki. “With a program of 1,000 or so attendees you can save $50,000 to $60,000.” The VAT Exemption eliminates the sales tax applied to meetings, exhibitions and conventions organized in Mexico by foreign companies. The VAT Exemption also eliminates the 10 percent sales tax in border states and the 16 percent tax throughout the rest of Mexico on lodging, airport and transfers. Also tax-free are related event services including set-up, registration, masters of ceremonies and translators, hosts, A/V equipment, decorations, security, cleaning and food and beverage by the hotel or the convention center as part of the event. Another nice tax break is that conventions, seminars and meetings held in Mexico are fully deductible for U.S. Federal income tax purposes. CHANGE IS GOOD Changing U.S. dollars into Mexican pesos is simple. Wayne Wallgren, principal of Worldwide Incentives in Dallas, has started to use ATMs for his exchange. “They’re everywhere in the international airports, major cities and resorts, and they automatically convert the amount to pesos,” he says. Delegates can exchange money at reputable casa de cambios (money exchangers) at the international airports, major cities and resort areas, and at many hotels and resorts. With regard to program contracts, negotiations with the hotels and/or convention facilities are in U.S. dollars. “This is a win-win, because the price doesn’t vary and there is no confusion about the bottom line,” says Wallgren. From tax breaks to easy access, there are more than a few advantages to hosting a meeting in Mexico. SIMPLE SHIPPING Contact a reputable DMC or Mexico full service shipping specialist and it’s arranged. Whatever you need to ship – meeting materials, supplies or a new roll-out of products from motorcycles to laptops, arrival is on time and ready at your site. “It’s very important to be familiar with the laws to make sure that planners receive their goods when and where they need them,” says Sandy Rivera, co-owner of Global Caribbean, Inc., a Mexico import-export specialist, with offices in Miami, Cancun, Mexico City, and Los Cabos. If you wish to ship it yourself, contact your nearest Mexican Consulate for details to ensure arrival time. Those in the know say give yourself two months lead time to guarantee arrival. Budrovich says Maritz also uses DMCs to ship larger “leave-behind” gifts back to the U.S., thus saving the hassle of getting them home on the plane. ULTRA MODERN MEETING SPACES New facilities are opening at a record pace, making Mexico one of the world’s most technologically advanced convention and exhibit destinations. This year, the 355,000 sf Expo at Mundo Imperial opened in Acapulco. The year-old CancunMesse is projecting an expansion from 272,000 sf to nearly 650,000 sf by next year. On the Pacific coast, the 58,664 sf Puerto Vallarta International Convention Center, and the Mazatlan International Center, with 95,400 sf, are three years young. Mexico City offers five world-class facilities including the 441,524 sf Centro Banamex and the 408,974 sf Expo Bancomer Santa Fe. Across Mexico, there are more than 40 top-notch convention centers in 25 cities (such as Expo Guadalajara, with 1,030,429 sf) as well as 495,000 hotel rooms and 3,100 luxury hotels available for meetings. MEXICO IS A CROWD PLEASER Mexico attracts events from world summits to medical conventions, new product introductions to board meetings. This year, Mexico hosts the prestigious 2012 G-20 Summit of world financial leaders. Mexico City welcomes the FDI Annual World Dental Congress, Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit host more than 1,000 travel professionals to Tianguis Turistico. Acapulco is hosting the International Mining Convention, and Cancun will greet greet the World Congress of Cosmetic Dermatology —that’s only a sampling. 26 THE RIGHT STUFF

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MMIP 2012

Here and There
Face to Face
Valuable Partners
Meeting Resources
Centers of Attention
The Right Stuff
What to Do
Mexico's Cooking
Baja California
Mundo Maya
Mexican Caribbean
Pacific Coast
Mexico Meetings Hotels

MMIP 2012