Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: March 14, 2007

DESPITE FEWER VISITORS IN 2006, Mexico rang up record tourism spending last year, thanks in part to more affluent travelers staying in new and renovated resorts that are going upscale. According to the Mexico Tourism Board, the nation welcomed 21.3 million international visitors last year, down 2.6% compared with 2005, a dip it blamed on reduced room availability in the Mexican Caribbean after Hurricane Wilma struck in late 2005. Still, tourism revenue last year reached a record $12.2 billion, up 3.2% from 2005's revenue of $11.8 billion. Visitors spent an average of $710 per visit in 2006, up from $678 per visit in 2005. The tourism board said more aggressive marketing to affluent travelers helped contribute to the record revenue.

CRUISE PASSENGERS ALSO SPENT MORE in Mexico last year than in 2005, despite a similar drop in numbers last year as a result of damage to the country's cruise ports by Hurricane Wilma. According to the tourism board, some 6.5 million cruise passengers disembarked in Mexican ports last year, down 2.8% from 2005. Cruise passengers spent $458.3 million in 2006, up slightly from $452.6 in 2005.

THE KOR HOTEL GROUP said it acquired the Villa Del Sol resort in Zihuatanejo for an undisclosed sum. The move represents Kor's fourth venture in Mexico and its first property on Mexico's Pacific coast. Kor, base in Los Angeles, operates the Ikal del Mar near Playa del Carmen and will operate the upcoming Viceroy Riviera Maya Resort & Residences and Tides Playa del Carmen. Recognized as one of Mexico top boutique properties, Villa del Sol consists of 70 individually decorated rooms and villas housed in brightly painted, two-story casitas. Facilities include two restaurants, a spa and fitness center and four swimming pools. Kor said it plans to expand the resort's spa into a "world-class facility."

TWO FIRMS ARE OFFERING INCREASED COMMISSION to Mexico. Mexico Boutique Hotels said it will offer 12% commission to travel agents for every 20 nights booked at any property through Oct. 31. Visit or call (800) 728-9098. Meanwhile, is offering up to 20% commission for bookings at Grand Mayan properties in the Riviera Maya, Nuevo Vallarta and Acapulco through March 29 for travel by Dec. 20. Visit or call (866) 874-5779.

AEROMEXICO WILL INCREASE ITS BAGGAGE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE from 50 to 70 pounds per bag for business and coach passengers, effective March 15. Coach passengers will be allowed to check in two bags up to 70 pounds each at no additional cost, while business passengers will be allowed three bags at that weight. Aeromexico's new allowance exceeds the 50-pound limit for coach passengers that U.S. carriers allow.

Mexico E-Letter Editor: Jorge Sidron

Phone: (973) 898-0011

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].


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