OFFICIALS say the destination is on a fast track toward
recovery in the aftermath of the destruction caused by Hurricane
Wilma last month. According to Raul Marrufo, director of the
Cozumel Tourism Promotion Board, with essential services like water
and electricity restored to 90% of the island, officials have
shifted their focus to preparing Cozumel for winter visitors. With
that in mind, a number of airlines have either resumed service or
announced start-up of flights for the winter season. Mexicana
Airlines is currently operating daily flights to Cozumel from
Mexico City, and Continental is flying three times a week from
Houston. Meanwhile, American said it will, resume flying three
times a week from Dallas on Dec. 16.
NUMBER OF Cozumels hotels are still assessing damage and
have not announced reopening dates, some have returned to business
and others are poised to reopen for the winter as well. Among the
hotels that have opened are the Vista del Mar, the Days Inn, the
Flamingo and the Cozumel Resort. Resorts that have announced
opening dates include the Casa del Mar (Dec. 15), El Cid la Ceiba
(Nov. 15), Fiesta Americana (Feb. 1), Melia Cozumel (Dec. 23), and
two Occidental properties, Occidental Allegro and Occidental Grand
(both Jan. 31).
COZUMEL IS POISED to welcome back thousands of cruise
passengers this week after extensive clean-up efforts following
Hurricane Wilma. Cozumel officials will welcome the passengers back
with a weeklong event dubbed Festival del Mar Caribe. Starting Nov.
14, 12 cruise ships were scheduled to return to Cozumel this week,
anchoring offshore and tendering passengers to the island due to
the extensive damage inflicted by Wilma on Cozumels piers. Festival
del Mar Caribe, which tourism officials have organized, is a series
of events ranging from music to food to street vendors in the town
square designed to celebrate the cruise passengers return; the
various ship lines also are expected to operate shore excursions.
We have organized Festival del Mar Caribe to thank the returning
visitors, as well as our cruise industry passengers, who have been
extremely supportive of our recovery effort in the wake of the
hurricane, said Cozumel Mayor Gustavo Ortega.
NEWS, officials from the Cozumel National Marine Park
report that divers and conservationists are working to repair
Cozumels damaged reefs. Officials from the park said much of the
reef system along Cozumels coast was largely undamaged, although
many sections were hard-hit by the storms three-day rampage across
the region. Cozumel is a top destination for scuba diving. Shallow
reefs, those located up to 35 feet below the ocean, were more
heavily impacted, while reefs located at greater depths were
reported to be in good condition by the National Marine Park.
Underwater caverns like Chankanaab Cavern, F1 Cavern and Aerolito
Cavern were unharmed and are open for diving. For updates on these
and other developments, visit www.islacozumel.com.mx.
IMPRESSIONS announced an enhancement to its Aeromexico
Vacations brand that caters to business travelers to Mexico.
According to Travel Impressions, the new product, Aeromexico
Business Inclusive, customizes and packages flights and
accommodations for business travelers from any Aeromexico gateway
city. In addition to hotels and flights, the service allows
business travelers to reserve a rental car, or a private car with a
bilingual driver. Bookings can be made by phone at (800) 327-4850
or on the Web at www.aeromexicobusinessinclusive.com.