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Two different approaches to Mexican tourism: Queretaro vs. Hidalgo

I constantly rave about Queretaro State’s Secretaria de Turismo (tourism board). They really have their stuff together, with amazing maps, good websites, great brochures, all of which serve to seduce people to a Mexican state that (to be honest) I initially thought didn’t really have that much going for it. (I have since reconsidered this stance– marketing helps me decide.)

Just a smattering of Queretaro's trendy tourism brochures taken off their Flicker site! (look at you, Queretaro, hip to the photo sharing services; bien hecho)

To be fair, I think they might still be over-hyping a few things. For example, check out page 7 of this brochure (courtesy Burro Hall), which outlines a 5 day, action-packed itinerary around Queretaro… except most of the days’ schedules seem to end after lunch. But their main travel website http://queretaro.travel/english (available also in Spanish & French!) is solid, highlighting Queretaro’s wineries and cheeseries (a.k.a. “dairies” to you lesser fans of cheese) and the illustrious Ruta de Vino y Queso near Tequisquiapan. They’re also quite proud of their Franciscan Missions located in the middle of nowhere in the beautiful Sierra Gorda.

The well-executed map of Queretaro's Wine & Cheese Route (note to self: stick with the sparkling wines & cheese...other wines=a bit iffy)

Anyway, my point being: Queretaro’s tourism board is on it, promoting Queretaran tourism in a classy, effective manner.

Now, contrast this with Hidalgo. We drove through a large portion of Hidalgo on our way back from Las Pozas, and stopped randomly in Ixmiquilpan because we were starving. (This town is also known as Iximikkimikkipan…because that’s easier to remember.) We were excited when we spotted the tourism office, and quickly crossed the main plaza to see what wondrous information lay in store for us.

What we discovered was that Hidalgo is going for more of a “Sex Sells” tourism campaign. They had several small brochures, at least half of which were adorned with this chicky:

Come to Hidalgo and find me prancing through the woods!

Or frolicking among waterfalls!

Or using my chameleon skin to blend in with mosaic floors!

Hidalgo has a website too, but it seems a bit more heavy on downloadable photos than insightful tourism suggestions. Also, their tourism slogan “Hidalgo en la piel” seems to best translate as “Hidalgo on the skin”. And while I can understand some kind of figurative translation about feeling Hidalgo on your skin, I don’t know if that’s really what I want in a Mexican state.   That said, it’s not all bad– the one thing that might get me back to Hidalgo is this huge map of all the spas across the state:

Holy crap! That's a lot of spas!!

Outside of that, though, Hidalgo may want to take some tips from their Queretaran neighbors on how to truly sex up an oft-forgotten state. Because I just don’t know if this woman’s blue air-brushed breast is going to do it for me:

Just because hot girls in body paint like Hidalgo, doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to.

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5 Comments on “Two different approaches to Mexican tourism: Queretaro vs. Hidalgo”

  1. #1 April
    on Feb 25th, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    It’s me again. So not only does my Mexican not know how to spell, wouldn’t you know, he lives in Hidalgo and it will soon be my home. After seeing these, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that. lol It really is beautiful there. Especially Huasca de Ocampo and San Miguel Regla.

  2. #2 Frank
    on Mar 2nd, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Here’s some back story on the Hidalgo campaign. It was a bit of a scandal at the time. The moral seems to be that the tourism board can use all the naked chicks they want, as long as they don’t advertise any actual tourist attractions.

  3. #3 Shawna
    on Aug 30th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    If you dare to venture to Hidalgo before you leave Mexico, let me know. I live in Pachuca and know a few nice places up the mountain. Air-brushed breasts not included.

  4. #4 Cheese Tourism in Mexico: a visit to Finca Vai – Midwesterner in Mexico
    on Aug 15th, 2011 at 10:16 am

    [...] and dairy products in general are one of my favorite things to eat. So when I learned via Querétaro’s robust tourism board of a nearby farm that combined cheese-making with a barnyard animal petting zoo, it seemed like a [...]

  5. #5 Gorditas de maiz quebrado in Querétaro
    on Sep 13th, 2013 at 7:23 am

    [...] hotel the morning we left, so I didn’t have time to research where we’d eat. Thank goodness for the Querétaro marketing machine — at one of the tourism kiosks in the Centro Histórico, I found a small pamphlet decorated [...]

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