Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: November 23, 2005

MEXICOS TOURISM BOARD said both foreign arrivals and tourism earnings were up for the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 2004. International visitors generated $9.2 billion between January and September, up 15% from the same nine months last year, the tourism board said. Arrivals were up 10.4%, to 16.6 million visitors. The number of tourists arriving by cruise ship during the first nine months of this year rose almost 9%, to 4.4 million cruise passengers. The tourism board did not comment on how Hurricane Wilma would affect year-over-year fourth quarter tourism arrivals and earnings.

AEROMEXICO, hoping to boost business, launched a Pay Coach and Fly First Class promotion that the airline says offers up to 60% off the usual ticket price for its first class cabin. The promotion is only available through travel agents and the airlines reservations center, (800) 237-6639. Under the promotion, a roundtrip ticket from New York (Kennedy) to Mexico City that would normally cost $2,856 costs $1,428 under the promotion, a savings of 50%. Customers who purchase first class tickets on Aeromexico can use the carriers Salon Premier airport lounge free of charge. 

PALACE RESORTS reopened the North section of its Aventura Spa Palace resort in the Riviera Maya following Hurricane Wilma, and several of its other properties are scheduled to come back online. The North section of the Aventura Spa Palace features some 900 of the resorts 1,266 rooms, as well as the spa. The rest of the resort is scheduled to open Nov. 30. Although the Aventura Spa Palace is normally an adults-only property, the company said it will allow children through Jan. 8 in order to accommodate guests with prior bookings at other Palace properties that welcome children but are currently closed.

AS FOR OTHER Palace Resorts properties affected by the hurricane, the company said it will reopen Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort on Dec. 15, five days earlier than originally planned. The golf course is slated to open Nov. 30. The Sun Palace, Cancun Palace and Beach Palace, all in Cancun, will reopen next summer after extensive renovations. Palaces newest property, the Playacar Palace, will open Dec. 15, while the Cozumel Palace will reopen next summer. For more information, call (800) 635-1836 or visit www.palaceresorts.com.

IDAHO-BASED SEA KAYAK ADVENTURES created a trip for yoga enthusiasts in mind. Its Yoga, Whales and Kayaking package combines daily yoga sessions on the beach with sea kayaking in the Sea of Cortez and excursions to view migrating whales in Magdalena Bay. Five-night packages range from $1,095 to $1,295 per person, double, including two nights in Loreto, all meals, use of camping and kayaking equipment and airport and ground transfers. Airfare to Loreto is extra. Departures are Jan. 8 and 29 and April 30. Call Sea Kayak Adventures at (800) 616-1943 or visit the company Web site at www.seakayakadventures.com.

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