Boosting bi-national tourism between San Diego and Mexico
NATIONAL CITY (KUSI) – San Diego and Southern California are global tourist destinations. In the early part of each year, the San Diego Tourism Authority touts it’s upcoming world-wide advertising campaign. But the people who gathered at the Martin Luther King Junior Community Center in National City, elected and appointed officials and tourism experts representing both sides of the border, say more emphasis on “bi-national tourism” would benefit the region as well.
Wednesday morning, the State Senate’s Select Committee on California-Mexico Cooperation was in the South Bay: What’s the current state of things? That includes educational exchange programs and medical tourism and more importantly, “growing” the region’s tourism industry.
Kerri Kapich is the Chief Operating Officer for the Tourism Authority. “There’s two components of what we do together,” she told me. “Promoting locally tourism involving residents of Baja coming here and residents of San Diego going to Baja. We have agreements supporting each other in those ways.”
It’s the second component that needs more emphasis, says Kapich. “Where we promote a two-nation vacation. You fly into San Diego and then cross the border to visit Tijuana or the Guadalupe Valley for a wine tasting, then over to Ensenada and do the resort experience down there.”
Local State Senator Ben Hueso chairs the committee: Hueso said, “We both have wonderful things to visit, but we’re not promoted together. We could benefit by promoting our region. And it’s a two-for-one, you get to visit two amazing countries, two amazing cities, and have an amazing time.”