MEXICANA eliminated base pay for U.S. agents
starting today, but said it "will make efforts to minimize the
impact of the commission change" with expanded incentive programs
and "alternative revenue-earning streams." The latter will include
the Jan. 20 launch of MexiCorp, under which corporate land and air
packages will be commissionable at 10%, said Virginia Barclay,
Mexicana marketing and e-commerce director for the U.S. and Canada.
Barclay said Mexicana will be introducing new products throughout
the year that will be commissionable or have service charges paid
to the agency for each sale they make. Mexicana's base pay had been
MEANWHILE, MexSeaSun, the leisure travel arm of
Mexicana that is operated by Mark Travel, said it will maintain its
commission structure on vacation packages. MexSeaSun said it will
keep its base 13% commission on all packages, including air and
land elements, booked through electronic distribution channels,
including VAX VacationAccess, and the base 10% commission made
through its call center, (866) 263-9732.
SCOTIA PRINCE CRUISES suspended its
cruise-ferry service between Tampa, Fla. and Cancun, saying the
port of Morelos in Cancun was too shallow for its eight-deck,
485-foot-long ship. The Portland, Maine-based company said it would
continue to operate the Tampa-Merida (port of Progreso) portion of
the itinerary, which was launched Nov. 22 and is marketed as the
Yucatan Express. The last Tampa-Cancun sailing was Jan. 8.
COUNTRY INNS & SUITES BY CARLSON, the chain
of mid-priced limited-service hotels, opened its first hotel in
Mexico in San Luis Potosi. The 120-room Country Inn & Suites is
located on Highway 57, near the city's historic downtown area.
Highway 57 is the major highway linking Mexico City to the U.S.
The hotel was developed by GS Consorcio Operador of Mexico City.
According to company officials, the new hotel is part of a larger
plan by Carlson Hotels to grow its Country Inns & Suites brand
in Mexico and the rest of Latin America. In Mexico, the company
plans to open five more Country Inns & Suites hotels during the
next five years in cities such as Monterrey, Leon and Guanajuato.
For information or reservations, call (800) 456-4000 or visit www.countryinns.com.
SUNTRIPS extended its "1 for 14" travel agent
promotion, which rewards agents who make 14 roundtrip air bookings
from Oakland or Denver to Hawaii or Mexico with a roundtrip ticket
on one of the flights. Bookings must be made by Jan. 30 (the
original deadline was Dec. 31) for travel through Feb. 28. To
participate, agents must track their bookings on special forms and
claim their rewards by March 14. Air-only, fly/drives, complete
packages and group bookings count toward agents' totals. The agent
awards are valid for travel through Dec. 14, 2003. For the forms
and more information contact the SunTrips sales department at (800)
PLEASANT HOLIDAYS is offering $100 off per
person on its air-inclusive packages from Los Angeles to Cancun
during the first two Saturday departures in February. Scheduled,
nonstop flights depart LAX on Saturdays, Feb. 1 and 8. Return
flights are scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8 and 15. Seven-night,
air-inclusive packages to Cancun from Los Angeles start at $793 per
person, double. Packages include airport transfers, hotel taxes and
surcharges, and on-site assistance from Pleasant customer service
representatives. For information or reservations, call (800)
448-3333 or visit www.pleasantholidays.com.
THE ALL-INCLUSIVE Occidental Grand Flamenco
Xcaret in Playa del Carmen is offering agents who book the hotel
via its Web site at www.grandflamencoxcaret.com by Feb. 28 up to
22% commission. Travel agents who book one of the resort's deluxe
rooms for travel any time this year will earn 20% commission, while
a Club Royal room booking will earn the agent 22% pay. The
promotion applies to the resort's rack rates. The resort's Web site
features a dedicated travel agent section. Reservations made via
the reservation center, (800) 858-2258, earn agents 15%