Sol Melia to rebrand several Mexico properties

ACAPULCO, Mexico -- Hotel operator Sol Melia said it will rebrand several properties this year.

The Spain-based hotel company will upgrade the Melia Cancun Convention Center Beach & Spa Resort to its Gran Melia brand effective next fall; the Paradisus Cozumel resort to the Melia Cozumel in November, and the Melia Playa Conchal in Costa Rica to the Paradisus Playa Conchal on Nov. 15.

Meanwhile, several other travel suppliers made announcements at the 27th annual Tianguis Turistico travel conference here.

• Mexico Boutique Hotels, the Puerto Vallarta-based operator of small luxury hotels in Mexico, announced eight new members, bringing the total number of hotels in the association to 35 in 22 Mexican cities. The new hotels are in Guadalajara, Zacatecas, Punta de Mita and Isla Navidad. In a move to boost travel agent business, the association also announced it will integrate all of its members into the major GDS´s by the end of the year. Eight hotels will be available via the GDS´s starting May 1. The group, whose hotels were previously bookable only through its Web site, earlier this year unveiled a toll-free number for customers in the U.S., (877) 278-8018.

• Mexico City this summer will roll out five double-decker tourist busses that will operate along a 21-mile route from the National Auditorium to the Zocalo, making 26 stops along the way at major tourist attractions. Each bus will seat 75 passengers, with 53 of them sitting on the upper deck. The cost will be $10 for a two-day pass with unlimited riding. Busses will run daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Mexicana Airlines announced it will launch nonstop service between Denver and Mexico City on May 2 and between Denver and Zacatecas on May 4. Pending approval, the airline will begin nonstop service between Sacramento, Calif. and Guadalajara, with continuing service to Mexico City, effective July 1.

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