Tijuana Tourism Diversifies, But Kitsch Remains

November 24, 2012 by
Categories: Mexico

standard mexican shopsTIJUANA, Mexico — Ever since fears of drug violence stemmed the flow of American visitors to Tijuana, the city’s tourism officials have been trying to draw tourists back by promoting its emerging new food, art and culture scenes. But even as officials tout a newer, hipper TIjuana, vestiges of the city’s older, kitschier tourism economy are still kicking.

Take plaster piggy banks.

Martin Montellano, a souvenir vendor at the border, would like you to consider one as you sit in the long line of cars waiting to get back into the U.S. Ten bucks. Less if you haggle.

He has them in dozens of characters: The latest box office hits like Batman or Spider Man. Mickey Mouse (though he has a kind of creepy gaze). An oversized Tweety Bird. The Virgin Mary, or for the impending holiday season, how about a Santa Claus?

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