Tourism links in Mexico
Tourist information on the web can assist travelers not only in choosing their destinations but making the most of their vacation time. That said, online information about Mexico tends toward a glitzy review of its coastal resorts. As a result, the tourism pages are rather indistinguishable from bland brochures. But there are other resources available for savvy web travelers and we'll review them in the first of a two-part series.
Mexico's Secretariat of Tourism
Rating: 3/5 Stars
The government's official website is based in Canada, which explains why the information appears static. It used to be one of the ugliest and most unfriendly websites, however, recent additions allow greater feedback and this website is one that deserves to be bookmarked and revisited on a regular basis.
Currently the site is graphics-heavy. If you are visiting the site in text-only mode, it's difficult to make sense of it. Also, text files are rarely linked, so it takes a great deal of searching to connect information in a logical manner. The most frustrating aspect is that the site overuses windows within windows, and readers must be careful of where to click or the screen continually diminishes in size.
The site could be vastly improved with up-to-date information. Under its official press releases, the only documents online date to 1996. The Fiestas page ( http://mexico-travel.com/fiestas/fiestas.html) could be a great resource for trip planning if the information were more current. For example, what is happening in Tlaxcala or Puebla this summer? That kind of information is not online.
The two most useful pages are the indices of Mexican states ( http://mexico-travel.com/destinations/states.html) and a search engine ( http://mexico-travel.com/search_eng.html). There is good information here, but you'll have to hunt for it.
Traveler's Guide to Mexico
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Based on the famous guidebook of the same name, this new website features general information on Mexico. The book seems to be a staple of Mexico's better hotels and has tempted travelers to plan ahead by both destination as well as accommodation. Want to stay in a remodeled hacienda or colonial mission? The guide shows off Mexico's best places to stay the night, providing you're willing to spend the extra pesos.
Like the book, the website is divided by destinations. The site is currently under construction. Border cities, such as Hermosillo or Monterrey, are listed, but the information is not yet online.
What you will find online is useful and first-rate data. In the list of Oaxaca hotels, ( http://www.travelmexico.com.mx/cities/oax.html), the page includes phone numbers and good descriptions. You'll find similar background information about resorts such as Huatulco or Los Cabos. It's a pleasure reading about Mexico from this archive, and you'll always know where you can spend the night.
Rating: 1/5 Stars
It is unclear who is responsible for this website, and perhaps that's a good thing for its creators. This is one of the many general interest websites that treat Mexico as an afterthought. It is poorly organized and slow to access. The graphics on this site make the pages from SECTUR seem easy to load. Contact information is missing, except in the case one would like to advertise, which begs the question, "why?"
There are better sites to visit for specific information, and in Part 2 we'll review the websites featuring Oaxaca and Acapulco.