Travel Weeklys Mexico E-letter: Aug. 25, 2004

BANYAN TREE HOTELS AND RESORTS signed agreements with two Mexican developers to manage luxury resorts in Acapulco and the Riviera Maya. In Acapulco, Banyan Tree will manage a 60-villa resort and spa in the Punta Diamante region thats scheduled to open by the end of 2006. The resort will be part of a mixed-use development with private residences, a golf course and a marina. The second resort, scheduled for completion in 2007, will be part of the upscale Mayakoba development in the Riviera Maya. It will consist of 100 villas, a spa and private residences. Mayakoba will encompass some 1,600 acres of beachfront real estate approximately 40 miles south of Cancun near the town of Playa del Carmen. In addition to Banyan Tree, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts are set to open luxury properties in Mayakoba next year.

CONTINENTAL AIRLINES said it plans to launch nonstop service four times a week between Houstons George Bush Airport and Huatulco, effective Dec. 17. The service is pending Mexican government approval. With the addition of Huatulco, Continental will serve 29 cities in Mexico and will offer the only nonstop service from the U.S. to Huatulco. The Continental Express flight is scheduled to depart Houston at 9:30 a.m., arriving in Huatulco at 12:29 p.m. The return flight is scheduled to leave Huatulco at 1:30 p.m., arriving in Houston at 4:22 p.m. Continental will operate the flights aboard Embraer jets with room for 50 passengers.

SUNTRIPS relaunched its popular fare sale for the Northern California and Colorado markets. SunTrips fare sales are only available for a limited time and sell out quickly. SunTrips fare sale information can be found every week at www.suntrips.com or by calling (800) SUNTRIPS. This weeks fare sale features seven-night all-inclusive packages starting at $399 per person, double, from Denver and $449 from Oakland. A seven-night, all-inclusive package at the Riu Jalisco in Puerto Vallarta sells for $499 from Denver and $519 from Oakland. At the Riu Palace Las Americas in Cancun a seven-night package sells for $899 from Denver and $929 from Oakland. These packages, which include roundtrip air fare and airport transfers, must be booked on Aug. 25 or 26.

APPLE VACATIONS, which is celebrating its 35th year anniversary, launched its Destination You tradeshow series for travel agents on the East Coast. Each event begins with a tradeshow from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. during which agents can meet Apples key hotel partners, including resort companies in Mexico. Representatives from tour companies, tourist boards and airlines also will be present. The tradeshow is followed by a presentation of Apples Winter Sun 2005 product line. The tradeshows run from Sept. 20 (Embassy Suites Cleveland Rockside in Ohio) to Sept. 30 (Baltimore Airport Marriott in Maryland). Agents can RSVP by calling (800) 727-3400.

FUNJET VACATIONS is offering travel agents and their customers incentives for booking a seven-night air/hotel charter from Buffalo, N.Y., to Cancun. The incentives include $50 off per reservation for clients, $50 additional co-op fund per reservation for the booking agency and a $50 gift certificate to Target for the booking agent for every five Buffalo-to-Cancun charters booked. The promotion applies to bookings made via VAX VacationAccess through Oct. 15 for travel Jan. 22 to April 16. Agents must enter promotional code BUFCUN50.

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