Last updated: 04:11 PM ET, Fri September 11 2020
DESTINATION & TOURISM SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
WHY IT RATES: The famously picturesque Mexican colonial city is already recovering well from COVID-19 fallout, with available hotel capacity at 50 percent. Now, it’s anticipating an increase in meetings and events, including plenty of weddings, once crowd-size restrictions are lifted. — Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer
The Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende started its reopening process on July 15, and has proceeded with the recovery of its economy slowly and carefully, and in line with recommendations by local and international health and wellness authorities. With local hotels already able to book up to 50 percent of available rooms and 37 non-stop flights per week arriving from the U.S. to Guanajuato’s international airport (BJX), which serves San Miguel de Allende, the city is now looking to regain its footing in the business and romance travel markets.
A key part of this work will be the opening of a new International Convention Center (CCI) in December. The new conference center will provide 34,000 square feet (3,200 square meters) of meeting and event space with a capacity for 1,400 people, further increasing San Miguel de Allende’s offer to the business travel and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, or MICE, markets.
San Miguel de Allende’s MICE infrastructure is world-class, anchored by its current convention center, La Casona, which offers almost 17,000 square feet of flexible indoor function space and a maximum capacity of 800 people. The destination is also home to 165 hotels, of which 70 are well prepared for the meetings and conventions experience. Five international chains are set to further increase capacity over the next two years.
The weddings market is of great importance to the colonial city. With cobblestone streets and romantic architecture, San Miguel de Allende brings both Old World flair and the latest in international nuptial trends to couples’ special day. In 2019, 830 couples, of whom 70 percent were foreign, were wed in the city. This year, 300 weddings have been canceled and another 300 postponed until 2021, according to the San Miguel de Allende Tourism Board.
As of August, Guanajuato’s international airport (BJX), which serves San Miguel de Allende, is receiving 175 flights from the U.S. per month. This includes 68 flights from Dallas (DFW); 60 from Houston (IAH); 13 from Los Angeles (LAX); 17 from Chicago (MDW and ORD); nine from Oakland (OAK); four from San Jose (SJC); and four from Sacramento, California (SMF).
The San Miguel de Allende Tourism Board will be hosting a virtual presentation on the latest information regarding the city’s reopening and the future of its meeting and incentives offering on September 29 at 2:00 p.m. EST. To learn more or register, please click here.
For more information, visit visitsanmiguel.com.