LOS CABOS, Mexico -- This destination is battling the post-Sept. 11
tourism slump with incentives such as free hotel room nights,
sightseeing tours, dinners and sports activities.
The "Star Spangled Savings" promotion includes the majority of
Los Cabos' hotels, which are seeing a 20% decrease in occupancy for
the winter season -- traditionally mid-December through May --
compared with the same period last year, according to Alfredo
Rosas, executive director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board in Santa
"Occupancy stands at approximately 65% for the winter season," said
Rosas, who attributed the decrease to the fear of flying that
followed the Sept. 11 attacks.
A list of participating hotels is available on the tourism
board's Web site, at www.visitcabo.com. The incentives are in effect until
Los Cabos also is donating a three-night stay for two to a New
York or Washington firefighter or police officer for every 20
bookings an agency generates.
The board will present travel certificates to the cities' mayors
in the name of the agency. Bookings must be for travel completed by
the end of January.
Rosas said the incentives are being promoted via radio and print
advertising in an effort to drive business to agencies.
Meanwhile, none of the airlines that announced new service to
Los Cabos prior to Sept. 11 abandoned their plans after the
attacks, although several rolled back service, he said.
Delta, which launched year-round daily nonstops from Atlanta on
Dec. 1, switched to smaller aircraft.
American, which was to fly daily nonstops from Chicago starting
Nov. 1 (through April 30), pared the frequency down to four weekly
The only question mark is Continental, which postponed plans for
a weekly nonstop from Newark starting Dec. 15 (through April 30)
until sometime in February.
Continental offers daily service to Los Cabos from Houston.
According to Rosas, among the major developments on tap for 2002
• Construction will begin in January on a new highway from Los
Cabos Airport to the Palmilla section of Cabos, giving easier
access to San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas.
• The 375-room, $70 million Hilton Los Cabos Beach and Golf
Resort will open in Cabo Real in February.
The hotel will include a "swimming beach" (many of the
destination's resort beaches are off-limits to swimmers) and will
be adjacent to the El Dorado and Cabo Real golf courses.
• A Tom Weiskopf-designed 18-hole golf course is scheduled to
open by mid-spring.
The project is part of the 1,800-acre Cabo del Sol golf and
resort development, which will eventually include three golf
courses, four hotels and private homes.