Travel Weekly's Mexico E-Letter: January 22, 2003

DESTINATION VENTURES, the meeting planning firm based in Bend, Ore., announced dates for its 2003 Mexico Travel Marketplace program. This year's series of presentations will be called Mexico Travel Marketplace and will feature "enhanced interactions with exhibitors," Destination Ventures said. Instead of the "taco bar tradeshow" format, Mexico Travel Marketplace will include sit-down dinners designed to give agents more face time with Mexico suppliers, a company official said. Organizers implemented new enrollment guidelines, including a pre-event Mexico sales questionnaire and mandatory IATAN/CLIA/NACOA identification. There are 12 events planned so far, starting March 17 in Chicago. For details, dates and registration information, visit www.mexicotravelmarket.com.

LEE KRAFT, executive director of the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo (Mexico) Visitors & Conventions Office, will step down on Jan. 31 when his two-year contract with the organization expires. Kraft will devote his time to his inbound tour company, Intermar Ixtapa Viajes, where he is president. A replacement is expected to be named soon.

MEXICO SPECIALIST Pleasant Holidays joined with Sheraton and Hilton to make it easier for Pleasant's customers to fly to their destinations--including Mexico--from Los Angeles and San Francisco. Pleasant's "Park and Fly" promotion lets its customers check into the Sheraton Gateway at both Los Angeles and San Francisco airports, and the Hilton Los Angeles Hotel at LAX at reduced rates. Guests also receive free 24-hour shuttle service to the airport the following morning, plus free parking while they're at the Los Angeles hotels, and 14 days' free parking at the Sheraton Gateway in San Francisco. Rates at LAX start at $138 a night per person with parking, while prices in San Francisco start at $122. For more information or reservations, call Pleasant at (800) 448-3333 or visit www.pleasantagent.com.

MEXSEASUN, Mexicana's tour arm, is giving agents a free roundtrip ticket on Mexicana for booking five air-inclusive packages in January and February. The ticket is good for any city in Mexico that Mexicana serves. Forms can be obtained by contacting a Mexicana sales representative or by faxing MexSeaSun's marketing department at (414) 934-2059. Entries must be received by May 15.

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