Tidbits from down Mexico way

Here's a rundown of what's happening south of the border:

The Los Cabos Tourism Board opened an office in Santa Monica, Calif., operated by Alfredo Rosas, general director of the tourism board, who will split his time between Los Cabos and Santa Monica.

The Los Cabos board is the first Mexican destination organization to open an office in the U.S., Rosas said.

He said the new office will focus on developing markets in the U.S., including cities in the Midwest, Southeast and Middle Atlantic states. The West Coast accounts for 80% of U.S. travelers to Los Cabos.

The toll-free number for the Santa Monica office is (866) 3-GOCABO.

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Mexicana Airlines joined forces with Mark Travel Corp. to offer enhanced MexSeaSun vacation packages to Mexico.

The airline said it is offering an additional 2% commission when bookings are made through the major CRSs; more options for clients who want to book packages with spa, sport fishing and diving components, and a Great Rewards Program, under which a travel agency wins a three-night trip with air fare and hotel for every $30,000 worth of MexSeaSun trips booked by Oct. 31.

The packages also will include more combination beach destination-colonial city options.

MexSeaSun packages are available from the following Mexicana gateways: Chicago; Denver; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Oakland, Calif; San Antonio; San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.

Among the airline's Mexico gateways are Acapulco, Cancun, Cozumel, Guadalajara, Guanajuato, Huatulco, Los Cabos, Mazatlan, Mexico City, Oaxaca and Puerto Vallarta.

For information or reservations, call (866) 263-9732.

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Vacations by Sun Country in Milwaukee added Mazatlan to its destination line-up with three- to 14-night packages featuring Monday and Friday departures from Dec. 21 to April 5.

Prices will start at $399 per person, double, including roundtrip air on Sun Country Airlines from Minneapolis, three nights' accommodations at the Fiesta Inn Mazatlan, airport transfers, hotel taxes and the services of a Vacations by Sun Country representative.

Vacations by Sun Country also sells Cancun, Cozumel and Puerto Vallarta.

For more information or reservations, call (800) 359-6786 or visit the Web site at www.vacationaccess.com.

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Aeromexico plans to begin scheduled service in Salt Lake City, making it a new U.S. gateway for the airline and replacing the charter service to Mexico provided by Xplore Vacations.

The airline said Xplore Vacations -- owned by Morris Murdock Travel, Cruise & Travel Masters and other Salt Lake City-based agencies -- instead will offer vacation packages that promote Aeromexico as its preferred air travel partner.

Beginning Dec. 15, pending government approval, Aeromexico will operate from Salt Lake City to Mexico City on Saturdays and Sundays, with connections to Acapulco, Cancun, Guadalajara, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and Monterrey.

Salt Lake City-Hermosillo nonstops are scheduled for Mondays and Fridays, with connecting service to Guadalajara, Mazatlan, Mexico City and Monterrey.

The new flights will be operated in conjunction with Delta, Aeromexico's SkyTeam partner.

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Viva Resorts, which operates three properties in Mexico, designated October as Travel Agent Month.

Participating properties are the Club Viva Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta and the Club Viva Maya and Club Viva Azteca, both on the Riviera Maya.

Under the promotion, agents can stay at the Club Viva Vallarta for $35 per person, per night, double, and at the Club Viva Maya and Club Viva Azteca for $45 per person, per night, double. A guest staying in the same room with an agent pays the same rate.

Because Viva Resorts are inclusive, the rate includes three daily meals; all beverages, cocktails and wine; daily activities; nonmotorized water sports with lessons; enrollment in the Viva Kid's Club, and taxes and tips.

In addition, Viva Resorts is offering a bonus commission to agents who book a client through the toll-free reservation number or via the Internet.

Travel agents will receive a 12% commission, plus $10 per booking. The bonus is valid for new bookings through Dec. 23 for travel Sept. 1 to Dec. 23.

For details or reservations, call (800) 898-9968 or contact the company's Web site at www.vivaresorts.com.

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Las Brisas in Acapulco offers three packages valid through Dec. 20.

The Holiday Breeze package is priced from $185 per person, per night, double, for a minimum of three nights. The price includes Casita-category accommodations with a shared or private pool, daily breakfast and use of tennis courts and the La Concha Beach Club.

The Loving Breeze package is priced from $1,073 per person, double, for a three-night stay. The price includes daily breakfast, dinner for two at the Bellavista restaurant, use of tennis courts, use of a Jeep for the entire stay and passes to the Enigma discotheque.

The Golf Sun and Fun package is priced at $994, single, and $1,184, double, for a three-night stay. It includes daily breakfast, access to La Concha Beach Club, airport transfers and greens fees at Tres Vidas Golf Course with a cart and transportation to the golf club.

For more information or reservations, call (800) 537-8483.

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