Mayors from both sides of the border gathered together to discuss tourism at the mayors meeting held March 8 in Cananea, Sonora.
Several members of the Douglas contingent that were in Cananea March 8 for the Border Mayors meeting took time to tour a local mine. Pictured above in front of one of the huge dump trucks are, left to right, Cristian Ramos, Alma Andrade, Carlos de la Torre, Luis Greer and Mayor Danny Ortega. Submitted Photo
The meetings participants support the expansion of the new port of entry in Douglas.
They feel this will increase Economic Development in the region, Ortega said.
While discussing ways to promote tourism the possibility to extend the “Only Sonora” program to all cities of the State of Sonora was presented.
The program covers visitors traveling to the interior of Sonora. They can drive directly to cities such as: Guaymas, San Carlos, Hermosillo, Bahia de Kino, Caborca, Father Kino Missions, Magdalena, Puerto Penasco and Santa Ana without the time consuming process of obtaining a car permit.
With the movement of the "Only Sonora" vehicle checkpoint, visitors to the state will no longer have to obtain a car permit in order to travel south of Nogales.
The “Only Sonora” has existed since 1996. The state government launched an attractive free zone on Dec.14, 2006 that requires obtaining a permit if traveling further than kilometer 98 of the federal highway No. 15.
The Mayors agreed to send a letter of support of the program to the Mexican Consulate in Douglas. The Consulate will forward the letter to the Mexican Government, asking them to extend the “Only Sonora” program to cover the entire State of Sonora.
The City of Arizpe Tourism Committee purchased a bus for sports/travel events.
They would like to schedule tours to explore and visit the main tourist points of Cochise County.
Mayor Ortega provided an information packet from Cochise College which states that all Sonoran students will pay the same tuition fee as Arizona students.
The Sonora Mayors were pleased to hear about the tuition reduction for Sonoran students.
Furthermore, the Mayors agreed to have each city create a border security brochure and will make it available to both sides of the border at their visitor’s center, chamber of commerce and or hotels.
The next Arizona/Sonora Border Mayors Meeting will be May 3 at 10 a.m. in Agua Prieta.