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Mexico is ‘golden’ opportunity

Opportunity knocks: Leon O'Brien encourages island to build on new Mexico ties (Photograph supplied)

Bermuda stands to reap “golden” tourism and travel opportunities via the opening of closer links with Mexico, according to consultant Leon O’Brien.

Courting direct flights and Mexican tourism, along with learning directly from Mexico’s model of hospitality, are a few “win-win” ways to capitalise on the island’s agreement of co-operation with Mexico, signed last month.

“As a hotelier and a person who visits Mexico tremendously, I believe the minister made a phenomenal decision,” Mr O’Brien said of the memorandum of understanding signed by Senator Michael Fahy, the Minister of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities.

The forging of deeper ties between two vastly different markets caught modest attention when it was announced. but Mr O’Brien, a champion of Bermudians looking to Central America for business, said the island could learn much from the giant to its southwest.

“I would encourage fostering relationships between our hoteliers, to send Bermudians to that region in the off season for further training, in areas such as the all inclusive market and residential market.”

Fresh products in the region from the sprawling company AMResorts warrant a closer look, he said.

Mr O’Brien, whose background in hospitality stretches to the island’s heydays, also expressed hope in the opening of direct flights between the two countries.

“It would be of great benefit to our new airport, especially with our United States customs pre-clearance,” he told The Royal Gazette — suggesting the island could court the Mexican middle class for tourism, while locals used links for travel in the region.

Long a proponent of Belize as a business and educational destination, Mr O’Brien pointed out that Mexico adjoins it — and “doesn’t require us to have a visa, because we have British passports”.

“Building this relationship would be the kind of revenue generator that we need to offset the costs of our new airport terminal,” he said.