Tucson turns on the charm to attract Mexican shoppers
Tucson attracts Mexican shoppers with good values and assurances that they needn't fear Arizona's illegal immigration laws.
TUCSON — .... An estimated 24 million Mexicans visited Arizona in 2007 alone, according to the most recent University of Arizona study. Of those, about 2.7 million visited the Tucson region and spent about $976 million in Pima County. Tourism officials think those numbers have continued to rise. ....
They've also started a workshop called Mexico Ready, which trains Tucson service industry employees on Mexican etiquette. Hotel clerks are taught to hand room keys to a Mexican client instead of slapping them on the counter, and servers are encouraged to bring the bill to a meal only after the client asks for it, not before.
"The service is more intimate and personal," said Marisol Vindiola, who focuses on the Mexican market for the bureau. ....
A week after the state Legislature passed the measure (SB 1070) in spring 2010, Garcia met with Mexican officials in Hermosillo.
"There is a perception problem here," he said he told them. "You all think that in Tucson we are all racists and we don't like Mexicans. And there is a perception problem of traveling to Mexico where people think there is violence and bullets flying everywhere. Both sides have a perception problem. Why don't we help each other and help promote each other's regions?"