Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: April 20, 2005

TIANGUIS TIMES: The 30th annual Tourism Tianguis trade show held April 10 to 13 in Acapulco did better than ever, attracting 40% more participants than expected, said organizers. Some 427 Mexican and 859 international buyers met with 2,080 local sellers of travel over the course of the four-day event. In developing news from Tianguis, the Mexican government said it would invest $18 million in the Habitat Tourist Cities program to renew 25 top destinations. Meanwhile, federal tourism real estate development agency Fonatur added 2,175 acres in the Nayarit state, north of Puerto Vallarta, as its sixth regional tourism development project, after Cancun, Huatulco, Ixtapa, Loreto and Los Cabos. Fonatur expects 1 million visitors annually in Nayarit by the time the $1.1 billion development project is finished in 2025. In addition, Fonatur also is busy furnishing Baja California with 16 nautical ports, a cross-peninsula land bridge connecting two of six coastal centers under development, and five new tourism routes -- all by April 2006.

WINDOW SEAT: Click Mexicana (, a low-cost airline owned by Mexicana, takes flight in July serving nine Mexican cities from Mexico City ... Continental Airlines ( launches service from Los Angeles to Durango and Queretaro in Mexico as of June 9 ... Low-fare carrier Spirit Airlines ( started year-round, non-stop service to Cancun from Detroit as of April 8, its first such international service out of the Motor City.

INN-SIDE STORY: The eight-year-old, all-inclusive Riu Yucatan ( resort in Playa del Carmen closes for a $10 million rehab of its restaurants, public spaces, pools and 507 rooms from April through a scheduled July reopening ... Westin Hotels and Resorts ( is spending $12 million rolling out new WestinWORKOUT Powered by Reebok fitness facilities in 53 Westin hotels in North America, including the Westin Resort and Spa, Puerto Vallarta; Westin Resort and Spa, Cancun; and Westin Golf and Resort, Los Cabos. The program also includes new 20-, 40- and 60-minute workout programs for guests ... One&Only Palmilla ( in Los Cabos is offering 30% off Summer Break stays -- plus free daily breakfast and a round of golf for two -- June 1 to Oct. 15, if booked and paid in full by May 30.

HOME AWAY: Private villas with a capacity of eight, including several at the Four Seasons resort, in rapidly developing Punta Mita -- on the Pacific just north of Puerto Vallarta -- are now for rent through Punta Mita Properties (; (888) 647-0979) for $2,000 to $4,000 per day, plus a 10% service fee. Punta Mita also boasts a private beach club for renters and a 19-hole championship golf course.

AGENT EDUCATION: Aeromexico Vacations is promoting its re-launch and new affiliation with Travel Impressions to Massachusetts agents at three breakfast and dinner seminars -- co-hosted by partners Fiesta Americana Hotels and Resorts, Palace Resorts and Sol Melia Hotels and Resorts -- on April 26. The seminars run from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at both the Sheraton Braintree Hotel, in Braintree, Mass., and the Sheraton Colonial Hotel and Golf Club, Wakefield, Mass.; and later from 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sheraton Framingham in Framingham, Mass. To register, call Allen Freeman at (800) 888-1881 or send an e-mail to [email protected].


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