MEXICO CITY -- A majority of travel agents who sell Mexico said
business to the destination is on par with or ahead of last year,
according to a survey conducted by Travel Weekly.
The survey of 400 travel agents was conducted online among
subscribers to Travel Weekly's Mexico E-Letter and agents from
Northstar Travel Media's (Travel Weekly's parent) database.
The findings were presented at the second annual Travel Weekly
Mexico Leadership Forum, held earlier this month in Mexico
Fifty-four percent of agents queried said bookings to Mexico
were about the same as this time last year, 24% of agents reported
that business was better and 22% said business was worse. The
agents who forecast an increase in business said bookings could be
up by as much as 24%.
The majority of agents said they were either very or extremely
influential in their clients' booking decisions, with 58% of
respondents saying they were extremely influential in choosing
packages and 42% saying they were extremely influential in hotel
selection. Agents said they had the least influence on planning
activities and booking car rentals.
On the subject of niche markets, 81% of respondents said
economical/value travel represented good selling opportunities.
Almost as large a sampling -- 77% -- cited family travel, while 76%
said weddings and honeymoons. Less popular niche markets were
upscale travel/spa vacations (cited by 36%), adventure travel (27%)
and golf (24%).
Asked to rank other Mexican destinations in terms of popularity
among their clients, 74% of agents said Cancun and Cozumel were the
most popular destinations, 42% said Puerto Vallarta was very
popular and 34% said Los Cabos was popular. The least popular
Mexican destinations were Mazatlan, Acapulco and Mexico City.
Asked to name destinations or types of travel that their clients
preferred to Mexico, 55% of agents said cruising, half of the
agents mentioned Hawaii, 47% said Las Vegas and 43% said the
Twenty percent of agents said their customers also preferred
Florida, 15% said Europe, 13% said California, 10% said the Bahamas
and 3% said Asia.
Among the reasons why clients preferred cruising and other
destinations to Mexico, 60% of agents said their clients wanted
more than just sun and sand, 29% said Mexico offered less value for
the money and 11% said Mexico was too far away or too difficult to
Thirty-four percent of agents said they see a growing interest
among customers for Mexican destinations that offered more than
beaches, while 44% said the beach was still king.
As to how often they searched the Internet when making Mexico
bookings, 49% of agents said they searched the Web less than 25% of
the time. Only 9% said they searched the Internet for all Mexico
To contact reporter Jorge Sidron, send e-mail to [email protected].