Nearly two months after Hurricane Odile ripped through Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, Los Cabos is fun, sun and business as usual. The recovery is largely due to the unstoppable spirit of those who live there—so unstoppable, in fact, that they get their very own hashtag.
The first phase of Los Cabos’ #Unstoppable campaign is energized by a robust social media campaign, video ads of tourism workers and incredible local relief efforts that not only restored confidence in Los Cabos as the exciting destination that it is, but placed air and cruise ports, streets and beaches back in the saddle for business just a few days after Odile left its mark. Power was completely restored and businesses—from fishing charters and tour operators to restaurants—quickly followed suit by the dozens. Many who sent photos and messages of support to the destination received updated pics of those they posted. In the US, the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation stepped up fundraising efforts, inspiring a number of philanthropical spin-offs along the way including the “A Taste of Cabo” culinary relief campaign spearheaded by chef and restauranteur Richard Sandoval. Julieta Hernandez Vargas, commercial director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board, is as relaxed as a Sunday drive when addressing the ongoing recovery of Los Cabos with us during IMEX 2014.
“If the hotels are to open it’s because they are ready,” she says. “Los Cabos is there. We were damaged, but recovering really fast.”
Though certainly wind-torn, the area did not suffer structural damage. The beaches, pier and airport are structurally sound and hotels are coming back online by the dozens. “Many of them, like The Westin Los Cabos, are taking the opportunity to renovate,” Vargas says with a smile,” adding, “by December, we’ll be at 80 percent full operation.” The last of the hotels account for the remaining 20 percent with new builds in the works such as a Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott, and a new Hard Rock Hotel opening in 2016. In phase two of #Unstoppable, celebrities will reply to selfies with a personal tweet of them in the same location and pose.
Vargas says when it comes to Los Cabos’ readiness to host events the numbers will speak for themselves; she is expecting droves of international flight bookings by the end of the month when anglers from across the world gather for the annual Los Cabos Billfish Tournament and the Bisbee’s Black & Blue Tournament.