Promotion of Acapulco Called Ineffective
(Acapulco, NA 2 August) In a published exposé of alleged incompetence and cronyism in the state’s tourism promotion spending, the newspaper Novedades Acapulco today pointed to a contract between the Tourism Promotion Department (SEFOTUR) and Zimat Consultores. It was announced on July 28, but, according to Secretary Graciela Báez, it has been in operation since April and will continue through December. The amount is $2.4 million pesos per month. It covers management of marketing and market research as well as promotion of Acapulco at a national level, press relations, graphic design, institutional advertising, corporate image, public relations, crisis prevention and management, and other services. The problem, according to Novedades, is that the contract period is half over, and so far, virtually no promotion has been visible anywhere.
The investigators at the newspaper stated that some national TV spots have appeared, but the results have been nil in terms of benefit to tourism business in the port city. Several tourism professionals in Acapulco, interviewed by reporters, opined that the promotional activities of Zimat Consultores have not been effective, and that they should be audited. In the past, tourism promotion has been a public budget item easily susceptible to graft and corruption because the services are intangible and difficult to evaluate. The president of the College of Tourism Graduates in Guerrero State, Gustavo Solís Sánchez, seconded the motion to audit the government contractor, because the “promotion budget for Acapulco” is not “reflected in the inflow of vacationers.”
Zimat Consultores is obliged, evidently, to contact and organize events with opinion leaders and celebrities, and to design and implement web sites and social networks and to generate photos, videos and page designs for the promotion of Acapulco. The investigative reporters claim that notwithstanding all this, no outputs are visible.