Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: May 25, 2005

GOOD SHOW: Guadalajara will become the biannual host of Cultour, a new international trade fair about cultural travel and tourism, come next January. The Mexican city will share hosting duties every other year with Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The first edition -- restricted to trade participants for its first two days -- is set to run Jan. 12 to 15, 2006 in Guadalajara, followed by the second annual show in Spain, Jan. 25 to 28, 2007. Event organizer GSAR Marketing is based in Madrid. For more, contact commercial director Charo Trabado at (011) 34-91 541-4308 or send an e-mail to [email protected].

LAST-MINUTE DEAL: Funjet Vacations is offering free companion air fares for travelers booking nonstop flights on United Airlines with MasterCard credit cards from Denver or San Francisco to Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta before May 26 for travel completed by Aug. 31, using promotional code "FLYFREE." MasterCard customers also get free value-added inclusions at the Sheraton and Westin Resorts in the three resorts.  All Funjet Vacations deals include roundtrip air on United, hotel accommodations, roundtrip transfers and 24-hour traveler assistance. Travel agents can book Funjet Vacations via the major GDS or at www.VAXVacationAccess.com.

SPA DEAL: Thalassotherapy center and AAA 5-Diamond resort Paraiso de la Bonita on the Yucatan's Riviera Maya is taking 50% off its Spa Getaway package in June, September and October. Priced at $1,095 per person, double occupancy (or $895 per person for non-spa companions), the deal includes three nights in a one-bedroom, ocean-view suite; gourmet breakfast and dinner daily; three thalasso (sea-water) or spa treatments; roundtrip airport transfers in a private Lincoln Navigator; daily fitness program and tea time; a welcome bottle of tequila; and a handmade beach bag.  Book directly by calling (011) 52-998 872-8300. For more information, visit www.paraisodelabonita.com.

READ ALL ABOUT IT: Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, owner of Las Ventanas in Los Cabos, struck a deal with leading U.S. publishing houses to supply the Baja resort -- as well as three Caribbean sister properties -- with advance copies of novels by leading authors. Under this new "Hot Type" program, Las Ventanas gets a new shipment of the latest books each month. For more on the property, visit www.lasventanas.com or call (011) 52-624 144-2800. To book, call (888) ROSEWOOD (888-767-3966).

PUERTO MAYA PORT BOOMING:  Last year was a milestone in the growth of Puerto Costa Maya as a leading western Caribbean's cruise port. Port officials said total passenger arrivals on cruise ships in 2004 numbered 565,223, an increase in excess of 189,000 -- or 50% -- more visitors compared to the record 375,990 arrivals in 2003. In addition, 241 cruise ships called at Puerto Costa Maya, 65 more vessels than the 176 that docked in 2003. For more, visit www.puertocostamaya.com online.

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