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Riviera Nayarit

Mexico's push to stimulate tourism and attract private investors began to take shape in 1974 with the creation of the National Trust Fund for Tourism Development (Fonatur). Since its inception, Fonatur has been responsible for planning and developing seaside destinations -- Cancun, Los Cabos, Ixtapa, and Huatulco -- that generate about 54% of Mexico's foreign tourism spending.

The Bay of Banderas

The Bay of Banderas serves as the foreground for lush, tropical jungle, with the rugged Sierra Madre mountain range providing the backdrop. This is the vista that planners want to preserve. Luxury home buyers are gravitating toward ecologically sound and conservation-friendly communities in the Banderas Bay and Riviera Nayarit areas.

The Bay of Banderas has grown naturally, organically, privately, and currently attracts over 3-million tourists per year and has a population of about 325,000. According to Fonatur, the Mexican tourist development agency, and the Banderas tourism board, the number of tourists in the next 20 years will exceed 6 million per year and the populations will more than double.

While all most all of the growth of the Bay of Banderas has occurred first at Puerto Vallarta and then south of the city for the past 40 years, recent years have promised greater and better-planned communities. Most of this new growth is located on the north end of Banderas Bay and farther north along the Pacific Coast called Riviera Nayarit. There are small towns in the area that offer many amenities and services. These areas are all close to Puerto Vallarta and the international airport, the culture and opportunities of city life, and excellent medical care.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox inaugurated the Nayarit Tourist Corridor in 2008, a coastal infrastructure mega-project north of Puerto Vallarta called Riviera Nayarit. This plan is financed by state, federal and private interests. It is part of a plan proposed in the early '90s for appropriate sustainable development of the region, which has attracted investment capital, developers and hotel groups from all over the world. Mexican laws also changed to facilitate ownership of land by foreigners.

The development of the Riviera Nayarit coastline is the centerpiece of a Pacific Mexican Renaissance stretching from Puerto Vallarta to San Blas, featuring 100 miles of pristine white sand beaches. It is intended to draw more sailing and yacht tourists to the area, connecting Cabo San Lucas to Vallarta and then up the coastline to San Blas and the Sea of Cortez. The idea is to dot the coastline with smaller, tasteful establishments, of boutique tourism friendlier to sustainable environment.

The Mexican government has also changed some of the real estate laws. Now it is easier for foreigners to buy and develop property in Mexico. The goal now is to elevate the quality and quantity of the tourism product while diversifying the product in an effort to attract even more investment. At the same time, tourism officials want to focus on attracting sustainable development with rigorous environmental safeguards.

This area has earned its reputation as a premier golfers' destination with Travel and Leisure honoring Punta de Mita as third best golf resort in Mexico and Latin America. The area has seven spectacular golf courses, designed by some of the world's top architects, including Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Tom Weiskopf. The majority of these courses are in the North Bay area.

Riviera Nayarit stood out among North American destinations at the International Tourism Fair in Madrid, Spain, where our Mexico presented its extraordinary beaches, culture, gastronomy, high-quality services and investment opportunities

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