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Mayor Greg Stanton touts Phoenix as destination town during Mexico City trip

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — In a recent trip to Mexico City, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton spoke to Mexican leaders about growing the tourism industry between the two cities.

“Mexican tourism has been a very, very important part of our visitor industry in Phoenix and the region,” Stanton said in an interview with KTAR News. “I’m going to do my part to help that industry grow.”

Stanton touted his city’s “beautiful desert preserves” and was quick to point out that it’s also an urban city with “wonderful shopping, great restaurants, world-class museums and resorts that are second to none.”

The Arizona Office of Tourism estimates that 3.8 million Mexican visitors came to Arizona in 2015 and each party who visited spent $839, on average. The vast majority of those who stayed overnight did so in the Phoenix metro area.

Stanton said he wants to improve those numbers. While in Mexico City, he met with tour operators who plan trips and itineraries for large groups. He said he wants them to place Phoenix “at the top of their list of places to visit.”

The mayor also said he met with Mexican business leaders who are considering investing and moving their operations to Phoenix.

“Part of my job is to promote Phoenix as a destination not just for tourism, but also as a destination for foreign direct investment,” he said, adding that he wants business leaders to view Phoenix as “an investment opportunity.”

Also part of his job as mayor, he added, is to “let the people of Mexico know that we love having a close relationship.”

“While some have tried to present Mexico as an adversary, I understand how important it is that we have a good working relationship with Mexico, not an adversarial relationship,” he said, noting that Mexico is Arizona’s largest trading partner.

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