Mexico to develop ‘Magic Villages’ for tourists

June 20th, 2010 - 12:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Brad Pitt Mexico City, June 20 (IANS/EFE) Mexico plans to develop its 35 towns into “Magic Villages” with an investment of $150 million to attract more tourists.
As part of the “Pueblos Magicos” (Magic Villages) programme, 1.9 billion pesos ($150 million) will be spent “to transform the urban image, renovate museums and galleries and restore convents and churches with historical and cultural value”, Mexico’s tourism department, Sectur, said in a statement.

The new investment will make it possible “to give each Pueblo Magico its own clearly identifiable personality”, Tourism Secretary Gloria Guevara said.

“Pueblos Magicos” have been identified in 25 of the 32 Mexican states and are characterised by the preservation of traditional culture, she said, adding that Indian and colonial influences blend there with reminders of great events in Mexican history.

Some of the picturesque locations include Real de Catorce, where Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts shot their movie “The Mexican”, and Dolores Hidalgo, from whose bell tower the Rev. Miguel Hidalgo declared Mexico’s independence in 1810.

Taxco, famous for handcraft silver jewellery, and San Cristobal de las Casas, with a 40-percent Indian population, are also on the list of proposed “Magic Villages”.

–IANS/EFE

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