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We checked in with Marc Murphy, managing director of Riviera Nayarit Convention & Visitors Bureau, to see what’s new with this popular Mexican resort town.

Paloma Villaverde de Rico: Why do you believe summertime tourist arrivals to Riviera Nayarit are exceeding 2016’s numbers?

Marc Murphy: In the 10 years that Riviera Nayarit has been a destination, we’ve seen an increase of tourists attracted to the area year after year and that is certainly true when comparing our arrivals from 2016. The spotlight on our destination has increased as the world’s leading luxury brands continue to plant their flag on our 200 miles of beaches. The increase we’ve had in luxury accommodations paired with our thriving local gastronomy scene surely have impacted our arrivals. We now have four AAA five-diamond hotels, 11 AAA four-diamond hotels, one AAA five-diamond restaurant, six AAA four-diamond restaurants, 13 AAA three-diamond hotels and 26 AAA three-diamond restaurants.

PVR: How much of that is coming from the U.S.?

MM: The July barometer shows that an average of 34 percent of travelers are coming from the United States compared to 25 percent indicated on the 2016 closing barometer.

PVR: Are there more hotels to occupy, thus the rise in hotel occupancy?

MM: Yes, we’ve had a lot of stunning new developments throughout the region such as the W Punta de Mita, which opened last year, and there are more incredible openings coming over the next year. The Grand Krystal in Flamingos and the Grand Sirenis Matlali Beachfront Development are set to open by the end of the year. For 2018 in to 2019, we have the One&Only and Rosewood Mandarina, Fairmont Costa Canuva scheduled to open and the expansion of Marival Group and Iberostar as well. The destination’s hotel inventory is undoubtedly growing!

PVR: If there were three things a travel advisor should know about Riviera Nayarit that makes the destination unique—things they can relate to their clients—what should those be?

MM: Now is the time to visit—Riviera Nayarit has grown from five miles of resort expansion north of the Puerto Vallarta International Airport to 192 miles of spectacular beaches in only 10 years! Our world-class luxury and our family resorts continue to attract visitors and celebrities from all over the globe, yet travelers can still find miles of deserted beaches where they can soak up some sun and enjoy the region’s traditional fresh huachinango zarandeado (whole grilled fish). Lastly, nature and nature experiences are at the core of our destination—our Islas Marietas, and its matchless Hidden Beach, is a one-of-a-kind natural wonder that everyone visiting the destination must see.

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