Puerto Vallarta is all Aglow Over its 2014 Visitor Numbers

The beaches of Puerto Vallarta.
The beaches of Puerto Vallarta.

There’s no denying that Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s most gorgeous destinations. Its lush Sierra Madre Mountains landscape, its passionate people, its array of unique neighborhoods, and its shoreline make it an alluring destination, so it’s no surprise to us that 2014 is set to become one of the best years on record for Puerto Vallarta’s tourism industry. ​

According to Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR), Puerto Vallarta registered an average 64.2 percent occupancy rate in the first nine months of 2014, a 6 percent increase over the same period last year. International arrivals registered at Puerto Vallarta hotels also increased by 5 percent from January to September 2014, a 6 percent increase over the same period last year.

Luis Villaseñor, director of promotion for Puerto Vallarta, says the reason the destination has a high number of visitors—and “we get a lot of repeat clients,” he points out—is because this Mexican destination is “easy to move around in, it offers good experiences, it’s family-friendly, and its proximity” makes it easy for West Coast travelers to get to. Also, he notes, travel agents understand the destination and they are an important partner for the destination so they fuel the visitor numbers.

Beyond a record number of visitors in 2014, Puerto Vallarta also welcomed new hotels, more flights and additional cruise ship arrivals. In fact, the overall number of flights to Puerto Vallarta was up 23.87 percent in October 2014, over the same month in 2013. Additionally, Alaska Airlines is now offering flights from Portland to Puerto Vallarta, and next summer, Southwest Airlines will launch airlift from Orange County.

In terms of cruise ship arrivals, it’s up 43 percent this year, and for 2015, a total of 141 cruises have already confirmed calls at Puerto Vallarta.

New hotels in 2014—and into 2015—will help those visitor numbers peak even higher. Next week will see the opening of the all-inclusive, 336-suite Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, on Mismaloya Beach, and next month, Almar Resort will open its doors with 120 suites. Already open is the 72 suites-only Hotel Mousai, the adults-only and very chic companion to the magnificent and family-friendly Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa.

With all these options it’s easy to see, says Villaseñor, that Puerto Vallarta is made for everyone. “In Puerto Vallarta,” he says, “you can find all kinds of experiences for families, for singles, and it’s a hotspot for destination weddings—we have a sunset every day.”

For our take on Puerto Vallarta, read the onsite review that appeared in the July 2014 issue.

For more information on Puerto Vallarta, go to visitpuertovallarta.com.