Mexico Tourism Board releases seminar series schedule

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NEW YORK -- The Mexico Tourism Board announced dates for a series of winter seminars designed to turn travel agents into Mexico specialists.

The Moods of Mexico seminar series is sponsored by the tourism board and operated by Destination Ventures, a Bend, Ore.-based meeting planning firm.

Now in its 10th year, the seminar series has been attended by more than 22,000 travel agents in the U.S. and Canada.

The program consists of half-day, classroom-style seminars focusing on selling Mexico to leisure travelers, with an emphasis on niche markets such as honeymoons, golf, spas, ecotourism, fishing, cultural tourism and gastronomy.

All seminars begin with a general overview of Mexico and progress to trip planning, with advice from Mexico experts on everything from pleasing the client to making the most out of a commission opportunity.

As part of the program, agents will receive a 400-page sales guide with information on Mexico's geography, history, climate, holidays and currency as well as tips on shopping, dining, sports activities and transportation.

The seminars are preceded by breakfast and a mini trade show where participants will be able to meet with Mexico suppliers. Seminars run from 7:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Advanced classes will be held in certain cities from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will focus on such Mexican destinations as Chiapas, Merida, Cuernavaca, Veracruz, the Copper Canyon and colonial cities.

The schedule follows:

• Jan. 29, Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix.
• Jan. 30, Atrium Airport, Orange County, Calif.
• Jan. 31, Marriott Mission Valley, San Diego.
• Feb. 1, Sofitel, West Los Angeles.
• Feb. 13, Doubletree Bellevue, Seattle, and the Sheraton Gateway, Chicago.
• Feb. 14, Hyatt Regency Tech Center, Denver, and the West Coast River Inn, Spokane, Wash.
• Feb. 15, Greenwood Inn, Portland, Ore.
• Feb. 19, Doubletree Arden Fair, Sacramento, Calif.
• Feb. 20, Wyndham Airport Hotel, San Jose, Calif.
• Feb. 21, Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco.
• Feb. 27, Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver.
• March 5, Eden Roc Resort & Spa, Miami Beach.
• March 7, Marriott Pe-rimeter Center Hotel, Atlanta.
• March 12, Inter-Continental Hotel, Dallas.
• March 13, Doubletree Post Oak Hotel, Houston.
• March 14, Doubletree Airport Hotel, San Antonio.
• March 20, Embassy Suites West Hotel, Milwaukee.
• March 21, Doubletree Airport Hotel, Minneapolis.
• March 22, Radisson Inn Airport Hotel, Salt Lake City.

Details of the fall schedule will be available by May 30. The seminars cost $29 for the morning class, $19 for the afternoon class and $39 for the full-day session.

The seminars can be paid for on line at www.moodsofmexico.com. Agents also can call (800) 599-6633 to request an invitation by fax.

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