Friday, March 9, 2018

Society of American Travel Writers’ Board Makes Waves In The Riviera Nayarit

  • The board members of this renowned organization of writers, editors, photographers, broadcasters, and more who share a love of all things travel recently traveled to and fell in love with Mexico’s Pacific Treasure.

The Board of Directors of the prestigious Society of American Travel Writers chose the Riviera Nayarit as the site of their annual board meeting from February 23-25, 2018. The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Hotel And Motel Association of Banderas Bay, Nayarit, prepared an itinerary that showcased the best of Mexico’s Pacific Treasure.

It was a large group, which included Gary Arndt of; Larry Bleiberg, contributor for USA Today and Chicago Tribune; newsletter guru Martha Chapman, writer for Vison Travel Group of Agencies; Elliott Gillies, President of Gillies & Zaiser, Inc. public relations; JoAnn Greco, writer for National Geographic Traveler and the Washington Post, among others; Catharine Hamm Skolnick, travel editor for the LA Times; Anietra Hamper, travel writer for AAA, USAToday,, and more; Marcus Hibdon from Travel Portland; Mike Hiller, writer for 360 West Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and others; Maureen Littlejohn, Executive Editor for Culture Magazine; Chirstine Looms, contributor for USA Today 10Best, TravelLife Magazine, and more; Wendy Martorano, Board Manager for SATW; Carol Terwilleger Meyers, writer for Santa Rosa Press Democrat, STAR Service Online, and others; Barbara Ramsay Orr, SATW President and writer/photographer with Globe and Mail, American Express, and others; SATW Executive Director Marla Shrager; Cathy Senecal, with Senecal Travel Marketing & PR; David Swanson, writer for National Geographic Traveler, Los Angeles Times, and others; and Deborah Wakefield, VP of Communications and PR for CityPASS.

They arrived at the Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport on Friday afternoon and were whisked away to the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita on the Riviera Nayarit’s “Glamour Peninsula,” where they enjoyed a welcome reception overlooking the sunset on the Pacific Ocean.

Located on a white sand beach, the Four Seasons introduced them to the Riviera Nayarit’s luxurious accommodations, just part of the destination’s multifaceted offer that includes exquisite gastronomy, an incredible eco-diversity, and deeply-rooted traditions that set it apart from every other coastal area.

After an all-day board meeting on Saturday, the group enjoyed a dinner hosted by the Riviera Nayarit CVB at the resort’s Kupuri Beach Club, overlooking Litibú Bay. Sunday morning’s meeting ended mid-afternoon, giving them the opportunity to explore Bucerías, the “Wind Capital” of the Riviera Nayarit, a charming little town with cobblestone streets and a robust art scene.

 On Monday, February 26th the group left in the morning for San Blas, arriving and checking into the famed Garza Canela Hotel, owned and operated by renowned Chef Betty Vázquez, the Riviera Nayarit’s Culinary Ambassador, and her family. After a lunch that highlighted the state of Nayarit’s traditional dishes, the journalists left for a tour of La Tovara Nature Reserve, a matchless sanctuary for birds in a natural mangrove forest fed by the Pacific Ocean.

That evening they once again convened at Garza Blanca for dinner at El Delfín Restaurant with Chef Vázquez. A graduate of The Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in Paris and a protégé of celebrated Spanish chef Juan Mari Arzak, Chef Vázquez uses fresh local Mexican ingredients fused with classic European cooking techniques.

The group explored San Blas and took in the colonial port ruins of La Contaduría, immersing themselves in the history of this seaside town. The area is surrounded by mangroves, host to thousands of migratory and endemic birds, a Mecca for birdwatchers.

On the final day of their trip, February 27th, the group enjoyed the hospitality of Villa La Estancia Luxury Beach Resort & Spa Riviera Nayarit, with its fabulous suites overlooking Banderas Bay and a very detailed personalized service.

“Mexico has long held a fascination for me and has proven to be an endless source of stories. A travel writer couldn't ask for a destination more generously endowed with angles,” said Barbara Ramsay Orr, President of the Society of American Travel Writers. “The cuisine, the culture, the history, the many chances for adventure and the gentle and friendly people—and, of course, some of the most beautiful beaches in the world—make Riviera Nayarit the ideal location for a travel writers’ meeting. We are truly grateful for the generous hospitality of Riviera Nayarit and The Four Seasons Punta Mita.”

“We wanted to ensure this group of well-traveled journalists had the opportunity to not only complete the business at hand in one of the many five-star hotels in our destination, but also had the chance to explore the best of the destination within the time constraints,” commented Marc Murphy, director of the Riviera Nayarit CVB and the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association (AHMBB). “There was so much left to see and do in the Riviera Nayarit that we hope they come back for more—and share their experiences far and wide with their millions of readers.”

“Four Seasons was honored to host this prestigious group of travel writers. We wanted them to experience the warmth of our staff as well as allow them to work in an environment that fostered their creativity,” expressed John O’ Sullivan General Manager of the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita.

With such a stellar group of travel professionals, the articles and photos to published as a result of their visit to the Riviera Nayarit practically guarantee millions of impressions and excellent exposure for the destination.

The continual promotion of the Riviera Nayarit that is undertaken both nationally and internationally has borne fruit thanks to the combined efforts of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association (AHMBB), as well as the business sector and the community at large, which work together to give visitors a very pleasant stay. This is all possible thanks to the support of the Government of the State of Nayarit via the Tourism Promotion Trust (Fiprotur).

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