‘Houston Week’ reinforces city’s position as a leading market for Mexico through diplomatic, business, travel-trade, and multi-city market activations
HOUSTON (May 1, 2023) – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, with the support of Houston First Corporation, Greater Houston Partnership, and Texas Medical Center, along with participating partners United Airlines and Houston Airport System, will come together May 8-12 for the city’s largest tourism and economic development mission focused on Mexico.
The Houston Week mission is designed to solidify Houston’s position as a top city for global trade, tourism, business, and leisure travel from Mexico. This will be the second consecutive year Houston has led a mission of this scale in both Monterrey, Nuevo Leon and Mexico City, Mexico.
With nearly 100 individuals participating in this year’s mission, the 2023 Houston delegation is comprised of city and business leaders, technology and start-up incubators, the Houston Rockets, award-winning chefs, artists, and musicians, in addition to Houston’s major hospital systems.
As part of the 2023 activations, the Houston delegation will execute new cooperative agreements and drive strategic discussions with key Mexican diplomats and city leaders to address important issues impacting tourism, healthcare, life sciences, technology, innovation, sustainability, and aerospace in both regions.
“Mexico and Houston are inextricably linked through our culture, business ties and tourism. I look forward to identifying new opportunities for collaboration and strengthening our partnerships,” said Mayor Turner. “The success of last year’s inaugural mission was largely driven by the frank conversations we were able to have with our friends in Mexico, and we want to continue building on that vital relationship as we work to identify new opportunities for growth, prosperity, and economic enterprise for both regions.”
During the mission, Mayor Turner and the delegation will be reunited with Monterrey’s Mayor Luis Donaldo Colosio Riojas, in addition to participating in a number of business and media roundtables in both cities.
“When we created Houston Week in 2022, we knew it had to be unlike any other trade or tourism mission,” said Houston First Corporation’s President and CEO Michael Heckman. “The inaugural initiative not only fortified what can be accomplished when Houston’s entities join forces, but the results of that initial campaign continue to deliver in terms of visitation growth to Houston. Mexico remains our top international market and we look forward to continuing our efforts in 2023 with this upcoming mission.”
Preliminary tourism data shows Houston receiving nearly 1.3 million visitors from Mexico in 2022, a figure that represents over 65% of the city’s overall international visitation numbers. Those same travelers also brought an estimated $432 million last year to the local Houston economy.
Houston shares strong business and cultural ties with Mexico. According to the Greater Houston Partnership, Mexico continues to play an important role in Houston's economy and was the region’s largest international trade partner in 2022. Last year, more than $32.1 billion in goods and services moved between Houston and Mexico. Nearly 600,000 Houston residents were born in Mexico, and the region has more direct flights to Mexico than any other country.
“Houston continues to rank among the top cities for international companies looking to strengthen ties in the U.S., and Mexico stands out as one of Houston’s top trading partners,” said Bob Harvey, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership. “In fact, last year was a record-breaking year for Houston-Mexico trade. We look forward to strengthening our business ties with Mexico during this trade mission.”
Houston also is home to the largest medical complex in the world, drawing in more than 24,000 international travelers seeking medical care each year. The Texas Medical Center, or TMC, provides clinical health care, research and education at its 61 institutions. For the 2023 mission, Houston Methodist, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, and Memorial Hermann also will join TMC’s delegation.
“We look forward to connecting with Mexico’s life science ecosystem. Whether it is early-stage start-ups to large industrial companies, we aim to bridge the gap and build relationships with Mexico to further lifesaving discoveries,” Bill McKeon, President & CEO of the Texas Medical Center said.
A Travelers Insights Report generated in Q4 of 2022 by Expedia Group Media Solutions noted that “nearly half of consumers globally say travel is more important to them now compared to pre-pandemic and nearly as many are backing up that claim by upping their travel budget next year.”
Information provided by United Airlines also indicated that “spending by foreign visitors to Houston from United and Star Alliance member flights supported an estimated $5.3 billion per year in gross domestic product in Texas.” Currently, the airline serves 22 destinations in Mexico, and has operated flights to Monterrey and Mexico City for more than 55 years.
The signature experience of Houston Week will be the Hola Houston events – evening celebrations curated to reintroduce and excite invited attendees about all things Houston. Taking place inside Museo del Acero Horno 3, Parque Fundidora on May 8 in Monterrey, Nuevo León, and later that week on May 11 at MIDE Museo Interactivo de Economia (Interactive Museum of Economics) in Mexico City, guests will have an opportunity to engage with some of Houston’s most notable chefs, artists, and musicians.
In 2022, Houston Week secured a wide array of media coverage in both Mexican and U.S. trade media. Articles about the event and delegation were featured in USAE, Telediario, Milenio Monterrey, Reforma, El Norte, and Imagen Radio, amongst others, and generated more than 211 million impressions to date. Mayor Turner also joined Houston First President and CEO Michael Heckman, Nuevo León Governor Samuel Alejandro Garcia Sepúlveda, and members of Governor Garcia Sepúlveda’s administration for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding or MOU to strengthen existing ties between the State of Nuevo León and the City of Houston. To learn more about the success of Houston Week and its initial debut in 2022, click here.
About Houston First Corporation:
Houston First Corporation (HFC) is a local government corporation and the official destination marketing organization for the country's fourth largest city. In addition to serving as operator for the George R. Brown Convention Center and some of Houston's most prominent art, entertainment, and event venues, HFC is focused on promoting the city's vibrancy and rich tapestry of culture. By harnessing the city's collective energy, ambition, and creativity, including its diverse culinary scene, world-renowned performing arts, medical and space innovation, and elite filming locations, HFC is solidifying Houston as a premier national and global destination. For the latest news and info regarding HFC, visit www.houstonfirst.com.
About Greater Houston Partnership (GHP):
The Greater Houston Partnership works to make Houston one of the best places to live, work and build a business. As the economic development organization for the region, the Partnership champions growth across 12 counties by bringing together business and civic-minded leaders who are dedicated to the area’s long-term success. Representing more than 950 member organizations and approximately one-fifth of the region’s workforce, the Partnership is the place companies come together to make an impact. Learn more at Houston.org.
About Texas Medical Center (TMC):
TMC is the world's most comprehensive life science ecosystem at the forefront of advancing life sciences. TMC is on a mission to further accelerate the pace of healing by harnessing our collective expertise in innovation, research, development, production, and patient care within a single, centralized medical ecosystem. With over 70+ million square feet and 120,000+ employees, TMC is leveraging the collective power by pioneering a revolutionary life sciences initiative to house the entire treatment of life cycle from discovery to delivery, within a single, world-class medical complex, on a scale never before seen.