The state economy has evolved towards tourism, bolstered by agriculture, livestock, fishing and commerce.
The average annual high temperature is 91°F (33°C), but temperatures often rise above 100°F (38°C) in the afternoon during the summer. Low temperatures range between 64°F (18°C) in January to 73°F (23°C) in May and June.
Mérida is in a constant development mainly in the Agricultural industry as well as Aerospace, where there is a great possibility to attract suppliers of this important sector. In addition, it has two market niches that are in an excellent stage of maturity as far as trade is concerned, such as: Information technologies and textile.
The Merida International Airport (MID) receives nonstop flights from Houston, Dallas and Miami; you can also fly into the Cancun International Airport (CUN) and connect via a 1hr flight or the Mexico City International Airport (MEX) and connect via a 1hr 45min flight.
The Hampton Inn by Hilton Merida is located across the street from the Siglo XXI Convention Center with 130 rooms and 3,000 ft² (279 m²) of flexible event space across eight meeting rooms. Luxury picks include the Fiesta Americana Merida Hotel with 350 newly renovated rooms and meeting and conference space for up to 1,140 participants; the Hyatt Regency Merida, with 289 guest rooms and suites and event space for up to 650 people and the127-room Presidente Intercontinental Villa Mercedes Merida, an elegant renovated villa with meeting space for up to 350 attendees.
Merida also offers a collection of exquisite boutique hotels, including Casa Italia Yucatan and Casa Lecanda, perfect for small executive groups, as well as nearby haciendas, such as the award-winning Hacienda Xcanatún, and the new Hotel Chablé is home to the world’s largest tequila collection, an impressive spa, 38 luxurious stand-alone pool villas, expansive 3-bedroom presidential suites and a traditional, gorgeously restored hacienda just 25 minutes out of town.
The Yucatan Siglo XXI Convention and Expo Center offers 123,085 ft² (11,435 m²) of exhibit, meetings and conventions space with a capacity for up to 6,500 attendees. Alternative venues include the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya with 21,528 ft² (2,000 m²) of permanent exhibition rooms and 6,458 ft² (600 m²) for traveling exhibitions.
Closer in spirit to Paris rather than Spain, it was once called the “Paris of the West.” There are many art galleries and museums to visit, including the Natural History Museum, the Yucatan Atheneum Museum of Contemporary Art, the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya and the Merida Theater.
This is also a city with exceptional gastronomy—a tantalizing mixture of traditional Mayan cooking and European influences—and home base for the exploration of Yucatan’s wonders. Must-do day trips for groups include a visit to the magnificent ruins of Chichén Itzá, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World just three hours away by bus. Consider booking during the spring (March) or fall equinox (September), when the setting sun creates shadows down the steps of the pyramid that resemble a slithering snake, matching faultlessly with the huge snakeheads carved in stone at the base of the stairway. Book your groups any time of year on the Noches de Kululkán sound and light show at the ruins, a can’t miss spectacle that will have them riveted to their seats. Closer by—about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Merida—the ruins of Uxmal are amazing to see by day, but by night groups will enjoy a similar 45-minute sound and light show.
The state was once home to enormous sisal plantations and there are many haciendas that have been renovated and converted into hotels. The Hacienda Routes that depart from Merida—there are three to choose from—are popular ways to visit these gorgeous vestiges of the past.
Yucatan is also home to two of Mexico’s famous Pueblos Mágicos, or Magical Towns: Valladolid and Izamal. Just 45 minutes from Merida, Izamal stands out for its brightly painted buildings—mostly yellow— its Church with its beautifully restored altarpieces and its tranquil cobblestone streets. The town also plays host to a vibrant light and sound show, the “Light of the Mayas.” Held at the atrium of the convent, your group will enjoy incense, strolling monks, music, narration and colorful images projected on the walls and arches of the convent. The Magical Villages are a colorful addition to any program, as they will host themed dinners where the townspeople themselves form part of the event, welcoming your attendees with dances, cultural activities and more.
Mother Nature was also kind with its natural bounty, with destinations like the Celestún river, where groups can board 10-person flat-bottomed boats to view the enormous flocks of pink flamingos.
Coming Up: Construction has begun on a new convention center, the Centro Internacional de Congresos, which will be ready by early 2018. This two story building will include a 60,816-ft² (5,650 m²) multi-function convention space, two meeting rooms with 20,2658 ft² (1,892 m²) of space each, a 13,562 ft² (1,260 m²) Business Center, two Foyer areas totaling 59,427 ft² (5,521 m²), two terraces on the second floor with areas of 5,382 ft² (500 m²) each and a 46,661-ft² (4,335 m²) Main Plaza.