Mexico Launches Post-Flu PR Campaign

In the wake of the swine flu epidemic, Mexico has launched a $92 million public relations campaign to promote travel to Mexico, Mexican President Felipe Calderon recently announced.

Introduced late last month, the campaign is called "Vive Mexico" and its goal is to encourage travel both to and within Mexico while countering the nation's negative image as the country where the H1N1 flu virus originated.

"We must tell everyone that we are a strong country, with unity and a unique identity and despite the trials we have undergone, particularly recently, Mexico is united and pulling through," Calderon said in a statement. "Vive Mexico is a call to action and unity for all."

In order to stimulate travel, Calderon has asked Mexican resorts to offer special travel packages, deals and discounts, which will be promoted on a new Web site, www.ofertasvivemexico.com. He's also asked Mexican citizens and celebrities—including athletes, actors and other public figures—to contribute to the campaign, the former by acting as tourism "ambassadors" who spread the word about Mexican destinations and the latter by appearing in advertisements, offering testimonials on behalf of Mexico's tourism industry.

"I invite every Mexican to show international tourists how visiting our nation is a great experience; that Mexico is not only a beautiful country, but is also strong and capable of facing the toughest adversities," Calderon said. "We await visitors from all over the world with open arms to our beaches, cities and towns. This should be a true national movement that needs the participation of every Mexican citizen."