A sunset in Popotla, south of Rosarito. Baja California has rebranded its tourism promotion efforts. Photo credit: Adrian Ramos, via @BajaCaliforniaTravelEng, on Facebook

As Mexican tourism officials prepare to re-open post-pandemic, they again will promote the popular areas just south of the border as Baja California.

The state of Baja California dubbed the area – with seven popular destinations, including Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada – Baja Norte nearly 50 years ago.

The official return to the classic name took effect two weeks ago, with a new logo and website.

The state of Baja California occupies the northern half of the Baja California peninsula. Officials changed the name in 1974 to distinguish it from the southern state of Baja California Sur.

Yet, by 1979 they had resumed referring to the area as Baja California – except in tourism promotion, where the Baja Norte moniker endured for decades.

The new branding, developed by Tijuana-based Enigma Creative, incorporates icons that depict natural elements from the region – ocean, valley, woods, desert and sea.

The icons also offer cities flexibility to promote the range of activities for which each is known. For instance, with grape icons for Ensenada, home of Valle de Guadalupe’s vineyards, or waves for Rosarito, a popular surfing destination.

The new website for Baja California includes planning tools, destination guides for travelers and the latest safety information.

Mexico has a color-coded phased re-opening system, akin to California’s. Each region is assigned a color to represent the level of permissible activity within that municipality, with red being the most restrictive, and green, the least.

Based on current COVID cases, Baja California is in the yellow phase, meaning hotels, restaurants and shopping malls can open with caps on capacity, and distancing and mask measures in place.

“Our new brand look and video campaign work together to share our deep love of Baja California’s vibrant culture, people and experiences. We cannot wait to welcome international travelers back to explore our home …” said Baja California Secretary of Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development Mario Escobedo Carignan.

Baja California tourism officials also debuted a new video campaign, “The Road Awaits,” filmed at more than 25 different locations.

Spécola, the Tijuana-based producer behind the video, partnered with the Baja California Orchestra to compose two original pieces for the campaign.

Musician Eduardo Amezcua, 22, composed the works, while Armando Pesqueira conducted the orchestra’s performance.

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