Mexico Tourism Board sets Expert series

MEXICO CITY -- The Mexico Tourism Board set the dates for a series of summer/fall seminars designed to turn travel agents into Mexico specialists.

The Mexico Expert seminars, sponsored by the tourism board, are operated by Destination Ventures, a Bend, Ore.-based meetings planning firm.

In their 10th year, the seminars have been attended by more than 25,000 agents.

Scheduled for more than 30 cities in the U.S. and Canada, the programs will consist of half-day, classroom-style seminars focusing on selling Mexico to leisure travelers, with an emphasis on niche markets such as spas, golf, fishing, scuba diving, honeymoons and weddings, and adventure travel.

All seminars begin with an overview of Mexico and progress to trip-planning, with advice from experts on everything from choosing destinations and activities that meet a client's interests 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, among other things, destinations; hotel descriptions and contact information; tour operator listings; and advice on shopping, dining and sightseeing.

Upon completion of the half-day seminar, agents receive a Mexico Specialist diploma and are invited to attend three- to five-night familiarization trips.

There are 20 such trips planned from September through February to such places as Los Cabos, the Copper Canyon, Veracruz, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, the Riviera Maya, Michoacan, Oaxaca, Merida, Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta.

The seminars are preceded by breakfast and a mini-trade show, where agents will be able to meet with Mexico suppliers. Seminars are scheduled from 7:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Advanced classes will be held in certain cities from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The programs cost from $29; the registration fee for the familiarization trips is $169. For more information, contact Destination Ventures at (541) 385-4923 or visit www.mexico-expert.com.

Seminars: Where and when?

MEXICO CITY -- The following are the dates for the Mexico Expert seminars (venues to be announced):

• Aug. 14, Sacramento, Calif.
• Aug. 15, Burlingame, Calif.
• Aug. 16, Oakland, Calif.
• Aug. 20, Raleigh, N.C.
• Aug. 21, Atlanta
• Aug. 22, Denver
• Aug. 22, St. Louis
• Aug. 23, Phoenix
• Aug. 23, Kansas City, Kan.
• Aug. 27, San Diego
• Aug. 28, Los Angeles
• Aug. 29, Anaheim, Calif.
• Sept. 17, Salt Lake City
• Sept. 18, Las Vegas
• Sept. 19, Seattle
• Sept. 20, Portland, Ore.
• Oct. 1, Cincinnati
• Oct. 1, Detroit
• Oct. 2, Baltimore
• Oct. 2, Chicago
• Oct. 3, Philadelphia
• Oct. 3, Milwaukee
• Oct. 4, Boston
• Oct. 4, Minneapolis
• Oct. 8, Newark
• Oct. 9, New York
• Oct. 10, Hartford, Conn.
• Oct. 11, Albany, N.Y.
• Oct. 15, Montreal
• Oct. 16, Edmonton, Alberta
• Oct. 16, Quebec City
• Oct. 17, Vancouver
• Oct. 29, Toronto
• Nov. 5, Dallas

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