Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: May 16, 2007

THE NUMBER OF TOURISTS who visited Mexico during the first quarter of this year was up compared with the same period in 2006, and those visitors also spent more, according to the Mexico Tourism Board. Some 3.6 million tourists visited Mexico between January and March of this year, up 8.3% from the year-ago period, while tourism spending for the period reached $3.7 billion, an increase of 14.6%, the tourism board said. Meanwhile, despite fears that the new passport requirements imposed on travelers entering the U.S. from Mexico would lead to a decrease in the number of Americans visiting Mexico, the tourism board reported that 15% more Americans traveled to Mexico during the first quarter of this year compared with 2006. Meanwhile, the number of cruise ship visitors increased by 78,000 passengers, and spending by cruise ship passengers climbed nearly 20% to $173.8 million.

WYNDHAM HOTEL GROUP signed an agreement with Mexico's Grupo Mayan to represent nine of the company's Mexican hotels. Under the alliance, Wyndham will provide marketing and reservations services for Grupo Mayan's hotels, which include four Grand Mayan properties and five Mayan Palace resorts. Eight of the resorts, with a combined inventory of more than 3,000 rooms, are in the Riviera Maya, Acapulco, Puerto Penasco, Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta. A ninth resort is under development in Los Cabos. Steven Rudnitsky, president and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group, said the agreement will "significantly increase our footprint in Mexico" and represents a major commitment to the country. Grupo Mayan has had a longtime relationship with Wyndham Worldwide's RCI Global Vacation Network to handle reservations for its timeshare properties.

BARCELO HOTELS & RESORTS said it is enhancing its all-inclusive product with the addition of Premium Club services and amenities at its resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean. In Mexico, the service is available for booking now at the all-suite Barcelo La Jolla de Mismaloya in Puerto Vallarta and will be added to other properties throughout the year. By 2008, the service will be available at the Barcelo Maya Beach Resort's new Barcelo Maya Palace Hotel. Among other things, Premium Club services and amenities will include priority seating and reservations at all a-la-carte restaurants; reserved seating in buffet restaurants; complimentary early check-in and late checkout; use of a dedicated lounge with free Internet access, refreshments, continental breakfast and large-screen TV; tour discounts; and enhanced concierge services. For information or to book, call (800) BARCELO or visit www.barcelo.com.

CORRECTION: An item the May 2 Mexico E-letter about a free passport promotion involving Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates and Gogo Worldwide Vacations should have only included a phone number for locating participating Carlson Wagonlit Travel locations. The number to call is (800) CARLSON. The Web site is http://www.carlsontravel.com.

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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