The Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende started its reopening process on July 15 slowly and carefully and in line with recommendations by local and international health and wellness authorities. With local hotels already able to book up to 50 percent of available rooms and 37 nonstop flights per week arriving from the U.S. to Guanajuato’s international airport, which serves San Miguel de Allende, the city is now looking to regain its footing in the business and romance travel markets.
A key part of this work will be the opening of a new International Convention Center (CCI) in December. The new conference center will provide 34,000 square feet of meeting and event space with a capacity for 1,400 people, further increasing San Miguel de Allende’s offer to the business travel and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, or MICE, markets.
San Miguel de Allende’s MICE infrastructure is anchored by its current convention center, La Casona, which offers almost 17,000 square feet of flexible indoor function space and a maximum capacity of 800 people. The destination is also home to 165 hotels, of which 70 are well-prepared for the meetings and conventions experience. In addition, five international chains are set to further increase capacity over the next two years.
Note: Currently, events with a maximum of 60 people can take place—but the city expects its event spaces to be a big visitor draw, particularly for weddings, once COVID-19 restrictions on crowd sizes are lifted.
The weddings market is of great importance to the colonial city, it says. With cobblestone streets and romantic architecture, San Miguel de Allende brings both "Old World" flair and the latest in international nuptial trends. In 2019, 830 couples, of whom 70 percent were foreign, were wed in the city. This year, 300 weddings have been canceled and another 300 postponed until 2021, according to the San Miguel de Allende Tourism Board.
As of August, Guanajuato’s international airport (BJX), which serves San Miguel de Allende, is receiving 175 flights from the U.S. per month. This includes 68 flights from Dallas (DFW); 60 from Houston (IAH); 13 from Los Angeles (LAX); 17 from Chicago (MDW and ORD); nine from Oakland (OAK); four from San Jose (SJC); and four from Sacramento (SMF).
The San Miguel de Allende Tourism Board will be hosting a virtual presentation on the latest information regarding the city’s reopening and the future of its meeting and incentives offering on September 29 at 2 p.m. EST. See here for details.