Fonatur has big plans for Cancun

ACAPULCO, Mexico -- Fonatur, the Mexican government organization in charge of tourism investment and development, outlined plans for new tourism development in Cancun.

Fonatur intends to develop Puerto Cancun, located at the western end of Cancun's existing tourist area.

The project will include a 330-slip marina, 18-hole golf course designed by Tom Weiskopf, a residential area, a boardwalk and commercial zone, and hotels with up to 4,288 rooms.

Costa Cancun, near the Club Med resort, will include a 36-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, a clubhouse, a beach area and residences.

Closer to downtown, Fonatur envisions Malecon Cancun, a boardwalk-type development that will include commercial and residential areas.

Near Dolphin Beach and the Hilton property, Fonatur has designated a zone called La Herradura, a development that will incorporate the public beach with hotels and condominiums. A new marina would also be constructed.

On a smaller scale, Fonatur also proposes a new marina in Cozumel, which would be flanked by commercial development, hotels, residential sites and other attractions.

Preliminary land and water studies on Puerto Cancun began in December, according to Michael E. Kelly, president and CEO of Puerto Cancun. Kelly said Puerto Cancun will be open within four years and take 10 years to fully complete.

The development is expected to cost $127 million over the next four years and $1 billion over the next decade, according to Kelly.

"Puerto Cancun has a strategic importance because it will revitalize the most important tourist destination of Mexico," Kelly said. "With a full-scale marina, we want to reach the more than 35,000 yacht, mega-yacht and sailboat owners who live on the U.S. East Coast and along the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, this market prefers other Caribbean destinations because they do not find the necessary nautical infrastructure along the Mexican Caribbean."

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Cancun to expand travel confab

ACAPULCO, Mexico -- The 17th annual Cancun Travel Mart, slated for Oct. 13 to 15, will be expanded to include retail travel agents and group meeting planners, according to Jose Chapur Zahoul, president of the Quintana Roo Hotel Association.

Agents will be able to attend seminars, workshops and site inspections during the event, while meeting planners will be able to schedule business appointments and site inspections.

In addition, agents will be permitted to visit the supplier exhibit area during one afternoon. The event is expected to draw 250 supplier delegates.

The Quintana Roo Hotel Association also announced that it will continue its Clearly Cancun promotion this year, in cooperation with American Express and the Cancun Convention & Vistors Bureau. The promotion offers American Express cardholders visiting the destination benefits like free nights and special discounts. -- M.C.

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