THE MEXICO TOURISM BOARD kicked off an $8.2
million TV, print and Internet advertising campaign Aug. 16
targeting U.S. and Canadian travelers. The new campaign replaces
the previous "Closer than Ever" campaign, which focused on Mexicos
geographical proximity in the aftermath of 9/11. Ads for the
non-Hispanic market will use the theme, "Mexico, Beyond Your
Expectations," while a second set of ads directed at the U.S.
Hispanic audience will use the tagline, "Regresa a Mexico de la
mejor manera: de vacaciones" ("Come back to Mexico the best way
possible ... on vacation"). The "Beyond Your Expectations"
commercials will air on cable channels in important feeder markets
like Atlanta; Denver; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; San Francisco;
and Sacramento and San Jose, Calif. In a departure from past Mexico
Tourism Board campaigns, four distinct ads also will air on
Hispanic TV outlets. These ads are not translations or adaptations
of ads designed for the general U.S. and Canada market but instead
were conceived separately from the start. Print ads will appear in
magazines such as Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic
Traveler, and Travel + Leisure, while Internet marketing will
include banner ads on Web portals and Internet booking sites like
AOL, Yahoo!, Expedia, and Travelocity.
FOREIGN VISITORS to Mexico spent $5.55 billion
in the country during the first six months of the year, or 14.1%
more than in the same period in 2003, Mexicos Tourism Board said.
The board also said that Mexico received 10.2 million foreign
tourists, up 11.1% compared with the same six-month period in 2003.
Visits by cruise passengers also is on the rise, with about 3.7
million cruise passengers visiting Mexico during the first six
months of 2004. Investment in Mexicos tourism infrastructure is up,
with the country receiving close to $2 billion so far this year in
investments for 180 tourism-related projects ranging from hotels to
MEANWHILE, HOTELS IN CANCUN, Mexicos top beach
resort for U.S. travelers, are operating at nearly 97% occupancy,
with some 700,000 domestic and international tourists expected to
fill rooms during July and August alone, the Cancun Convention and
Visitors Bureau reported. Cancun has 27,000 hotel rooms. Miguel
Borge Martin, director of the CVB, said Cancun is having its
strongest summer tourist season in 10 years. During the first half
of the year, hotel occupancy rates were up 10% compared with the
same period in 2003. The CVB director said last months resignation
of the City Council and ouster of the mayor in the larger
municipality of Benito Juarez has not affected tourism. In response
to violent demonstrations following the political turmoil, the U.S.
State Department issued a public announcement urging Americans to
avoid crowds and use caution in Cancun, especially around the Plaza
de la Reforma and City Hall. Most visitors to Cancun stay in the
so-called Hotel Zone, which is several miles from downtown and has
not experienced protests.
BRISAS HOTELS AND RESORTS, which operates six
upscale resorts throughout Mexico, launched a Hold the Rate program
for group and incentive customers. Under the program, the hotel
company will guarantee the same rate to any group that returns to
the same Brisas hotel for another event with three years of the
original stay. Brisas Mexico properties are: Las Brisas Acapulco,
Las Brisas Ixtapa, Galeria Plaza in Mexico City, Hacienda Jurica in
Queretaro, Las Hadas Golf Resort & Marina in Manzanillo and Las
Brisas Huatulco. For group bookings, call (866) RELAX-MX or (305)
PLEASANT HOLIDAYS launched a "50% Off Sale" for
travel between Aug. 23 and Sept. 30 that includes a 50% discount on
a companion air fare to Cancun from Los Angeles. The discounted air
fare is available when two people travel on the same itinerary and
is valid only on Pleasants air-inclusive packages with roundtrip
air fare on ATA Airlines. For information or to book, call (800)
448-3333 or visit PleasantAgent.com.
MEXICO CITYS ancient archeological site, Templo
Mayor, will be closed to visitors during renovations scheduled from
Aug. 24 to Sept. 28. The sites museum will remain open. For more
information, visit www.conaculta.gob.mx.