Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: Nov. 10, 2004

Mexico is bringing its sun and sand to the chilly streets of North America this month. In a unique tourism promotion, the Mexico Tourism Board is loading up four separate trucks with sand, palm trees, scaled-down models of archeological sites and "bathing beauties" and rolling them through the streets of New York, Chicago, Montreal and Toronto in November. The trucks hit the streets of New York last week, making stops at Battery Park, the Museum of TV and Radio and Central Park. This week's stops will include the Empire State Building, Union Square and Rockefeller Center. Windy City stops will include the Sears Tower, Union Station, Navy Pier and Hyde Park. The trucks are emblazoned with Mexico's tourism campaign tag line, "Mexico, Beyond Your Expectations," and the tourism board's toll-free number and Web site.

Aeromexico and Mexicana: The Mexican government is floating a proposal to merge the country's two major airlines, Aeromexico and Mexicana, as part of a plan to sell a stake in the combined company to investors by next year, airline officials confirmed. As part of the deal, Cintra, the state holding company that owns both airlines, will sell off Aeroliteral and Aerocaribe, two small regional carriers that are units of Aeromexico and Mexicana, also after merging the two carriers. Mexico's Federal Competition Committee, the country's antitrust agency, must approve the proposal. Aeromexico and Mexicana were placed under the Cintra umbrella in 1995 when they faced financial difficulty in the wake of Mexico's 1994 financial crisis. In October 2000, the Federal Competition Commission recommended the breakup of Cintra, saying competition would lower the price of air transportation in Mexico and boost tourism. Aeromexico and Mexicana control nearly 80% of the Mexican domestic air passenger market. If combined, the resulting entity would be Latin America's biggest carrier.

American Eagle said it will launch daily nonstop service between Dallas/Forth Worth Airport and San Luis Potosi, effective Jan. 5, pending government approval. With the addition of San Luis Potosi, American Eagle will serve six cities in Mexico, including Aguascalientes, Leon, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Torreon. The American Eagle flight will depart from Dallas/Forth Worth at 6:16 p.m. and arrive in San Luis Potosi at 8:34 p.m. The return flights will depart from San Luis Potosi at 7:05 a.m. and arrive in Dallas/Forth Worth at 9:15 a.m. American Eagle will operate one flight each day using 44-seat regional jets.

Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos: Guests lounging by the pool at Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos can now request an iPod from the resort's pool butlers. The iPods will come preloaded with nearly a thousand songs in a number of categories, from jazz and classical to rock and hip hop. In addition to providing iPods, Las Ventanas' pool butlers offer guests towels, books and magazines, complimentary sorbets and food and beverages from the poolside bar. To book Las Ventanas, call (888) ROSEWOOD or visit

Pleasant Holidays is offering a number of incentives at the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Resort & Spa in Los Cabos. The first special features the fourth night free when customers travel between Feb. 1 and April 3. Bookings must be completed by Dec. 30. Four-night, land-only packages start at $417 per person, double. The second promotion allows customers who book seven nights to receive two nights free when they travel between Jan. 1 and 31. Bookings must be made by Jan. 15. Seven-night, land-only packages start at $677 per person, double. For information or reservations, call (800) 448-3333 or visit

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