IXTAPA-ZIHUATANEJO, Mexico -- This "dual" destination launched a
series of seminars this year designed to turn travel agents into
Dubbed Twice As Pleasing, the free seminars are sponsored by the
Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Convention and Visitors Bureau in conjunction
with local hotels, tourism companies, tour operators and airlines
that serve the destinations.
Lee Kraft, executive director of the convention and visitors
bureau, said travel agents are invited to the seminars from leads
provided by the hotels and the Mexico Tourism offices in the
"We went to the local offices of the tourism board in the U.S. and
asked them for the names of agents who have called to inquire about
Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo," said Kraft. "We asked the hotels for the names
of agents who sent clients from the U.S."
The result this inaugural year was 21 seminars scheduled for 15
cities in the U.S. and Canada, with each session attended by up to
70 travel agents. The four-hour presentations begin at 5 p.m. with
a cocktail reception and conclude with dinner and a keynote
In between, the seminars feature an introductory multimedia
presentation that includes an overview of the destination's
geography and information about its various niche markets.
Agents are then split up into groups and alternate between
suppliers that present their products.
All agents are certified as Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo specialists and
receive a sales guide with information on, among other things,
hotel descriptions, tour operator listings and recreational options
as well as advice on shopping, restaurants and sightseeing.
Upcoming seminars are scheduled for Oct. 15 in Toronto; Oct. 17
and 24 in Calgary, Alberta; Oct. 22 in Vancouver; Nov. 12 and 14 in
Los Angeles; Nov. 19 in San Francisco; and Nov. 21 in Oakland,
Agents interested in attending the seminars can call the bureau
at (011) 52-755 553-1270 or send an e-mail to [email protected].
"We ask agents to fill out a questionnaire about the seminars,
and the responses have been very positive," Kraft said. "The
comments have ranged from 'very dynamic and interesting' to
'surprise' at the variety of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo's tourism
product," he said.
Kraft continued, "It is very difficult for Ixtapa and
Zihuatanejo to compete with destinations like Cancun and the
Riviera Maya, which have an advertising budget 20 times larger than
ours. So we don't compare ourselves to them. We stick to our
That message, he said, is that Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo is a
"tranquil and safe destination with plenty to offer clients."
Situated on Mexico's Pacific coast, northwest of Acapulco,
Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo is spread out along a 25-mile coastline
characterized by beaches and scalloped bays.
The dual destination is marketed as "old and new," with
Zihuatanejo the "laid-back fishing village" and Ixtapa promoted as
the full-service hotel destination.
There are approximately 5,800 hotel rooms between the two, and
Ixtapa has 5,000 of them.
Kraft said that 60% of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo's tourists are
Mexican, 25% are Americans, 10% come from Canada and the rest from
South America and Europe.
The national market consists mostly of families, while the
international markets consist of honeymooners, golfers, divers,
deep-sea fishermen, horseback riders and ecotourists.
According to Kraft, among the major developments on tap for this
year and next are:
• MLT Vacations this winter plans to boost its
service from Minneapolis to Zihuatanejo from three to four times a
week, returning to pre-Sept 11 levels.
• America West in November plans to increase
service from once a week to three times a week from Phoenix to
• Continental will fly twice a day from Houston to
Zihuatanejo starting in December.
• The operators of the Aristos Hotel in Ixtapa,
which is closed, plan to tear down the hotel and rebuild it
sometime next year.
• The boutique Capricho Hotel under construction
in Ixtapa is scheduled to open next spring with 60 of 85 planned
suites. Rooms will cost from $350 a night, double.
• The 250-room Melia Azul Ixtapa Beach Resort &
Conference Center launched a $19 million expansion project
that will add 148 rooms and expand the convention center to
accommodate 2,700 people by September 2003.
• The Villa del Sol in Zihuatanejo unveiled 14
villa-style suites last November, bringing to 70 the resort's
number of rooms.
IXTAPA-ZIHUATANEJO, Mexico -- Several of the hotels in Ixtapa
and Zihuatanejo are offering packages. The following is a
• The Melia Azul Ixtapa Beach Resort & Conference Center is
marketing a Leisure Super Saver package that costs $144 a night,
double, through Dec. 23.
The package includes all meals, snacks and beverages; nonmotorized
water sports and other recreational activities; the Kid's Club, and
A four-night honeymoon package costs $920 per couple through Dec.
23. It includes an upgrade to a junior suite, if available.
For information or reservations, call (800) 336-3542 or visit the
Web at www.solmelia.com.
• The Radisson Resort Ixtapa is offering a Go package priced at
$81 per night, double, through Dec. 20, and $141 from Dec. 21
through April 25.
The package includes breakfast, a welcome gift and taxes and
A three-night honeymoon package costs $454 per couple through Dec.
20. It includes suite accommodations, a bottle of champagne, daily
breakfast and one dinner for two. For information or reservations,
call (800) 333-3333 or visit the Web at www.radisson.com.
• Las Brisas Ixtapa is selling a Holiday Breeze package that
costs $175 per night, single or double, from Jan. 4 through April
20. The price drops to $155 from April 21 through Dec. 19.
The package includes a deluxe oceanview room, daily buffet
breakfast, one hour of tennis daily, unlimited use of the fitness
center and 20% off greens fees at the Marina Ixtapa golf
A three-night package costs $415 per couple through Dec. 20. It
includes suite accommodations and one dinner for two with wine.
For information or reservations, call (888) 559-4329 or visit the
Web at www.brisas.com.mx.
• Hotel Villa del Sol in Zihuatanejo is offering several
packages, including a two-, three- and six-night Healthy Deal
A seven-night package costs $2,540 per couple from Nov. 1 through
Dec. 20. It includes six 60-minute spa treatments, 11 fitness
classes and taxes and service charges. Meals are extra.
A four- or seven-night Golf in Paradise package costs from $2,575,
double, from Nov. 1 through Dec. 20. It includes three rounds of
golf on two courses (including golf cart), 30-minute private
putting lesson, lunch during each round, airport transfers and
taxes and gratuities.
For information or reservations, call (011) 52-755 555-5500,
e-mail: [email protected] or visit the Web at www.hotelvilladelsol.net.
• Aeromexico Vacations' programs to Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo begin
at $495 per person, double, from Oct. 17 through Nov. 28.
The package includes three nights at the Posada Real Ixtapa and
roundtrip air fare on Aeromexico from Dallas.
Aeromexico Vacations can be purchased via the major GDSs and
VacationAccess or by calling (800) 245-8585.