Travel Weekly's Mexico E-Letter: September 2, 2002

UNITED AIRLINES said it will launch seasonal service between Denver, its second-largest hub, and Mexico City. The nonstop service will operate on Saturdays from Dec. 14 through April 26. The service will be operated aboard an Airbus 319 with room for 124 passengers in two classes of service. Flight 1959 will depart Denver at 10:15 a.m. and arrive in Mexico City at 2:39 p.m. Return flight 1960 will depart Mexico City at 3:40 p.m. and arrive in Denver at 6:11 p.m. With the addition of the Denver service, United will serve Mexico City from all of its domestic hubs, including Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington (Dulles).

US AIRWAYS VACATIONS rolled out a number of incentives for travel agent who sell their product line, including Mexico. The incentives are in effect for bookings made through Sept. 30 for travel through Dec. 31. Agents who are members of the tour operator's Preferred Partnership program will earn their agency double credits for each package booked via VAX Vacation Access at www.vacationaccess.com. For each VAX booking, agents will be entered to win one of 14 three-night trips to a number of US Airways destinations, including the Hyatt Regency in Cancun. In addition, agents will earn an additional $10 for each GDS booking, $20 for each VAX booking and $10 per room for any group booking. Agents are responsible for tracking their sales and submitting them to US Airways Vacations. For additional information, call (800) 455-0123.

MEETING PROFESSIONALS INT'L said its executives met with Mexico President Vicente Fox to discuss ways of expanding the country's meetings market. MPI said the Mexican government has beefed up security in convention areas, and that the country is launching a public awareness campaign to promote it as a safe destination. Fox also is supporting legislation to make meetings in Mexico tax exempt, according to MPI.

CLIENTS WHO BUY one of Mayatour's Yucatan Peninsula escorted tours can take along a companion for free in September. The two will share a double room, and all tours include three daily meals and the services of a guide. Air fare is extra. The four- and five-night tours cost from $1,100 per person, double. In October, Mayatour is offering a "three-for-two special." Two people booking a tour in October can take a third person along for free. Air fare is extra. Mayatour also has reduced the price of a number of tours. The Oaxaca Symphony Tour, which begins in Mexico City on Jan. 18 and ends in Cancun on Feb. 2, costs $2,499 per person, double, down from $2,900. Mayatour's five-night Yucatan Discover tour of the Yucatan Peninsula scheduled for Dec. 3 and Jan 21 cost $1,199, down from $1,353. For additional information or reservations, call (800) 392-6292 or visit the Web at www.mayatour.com.

MEXICANA AIRLINES said it will launch nonstop service between Mexico City and Vancouver on Dec. 14. The flights will operate five times a week aboard an Airbus 319 with room for 120 in business and coach. In addition to the new Vancouver flights, Mexicana, in cooperation with Air Canada, will increase its service from Mexico City to Montreal to seven days a week and boost its flights from the Mexican capital to Toronto to 12 a week starting Dec. 12.

MEANWHILE, Mexicana's tour division, MexSeaSun, introduced e-ticketing to all 14 of the operator's Mexico destinations. MexSeaSun said the switch allows customers to book packages with air fare up to two business days prior to departure. Customers will receive hard copies of their itineraries, which include flight times, hotel information, transfers and package information. MexSeaSun's U.S. gateways are Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento, Calif.; Denver; San Antonio; Miami; New York (JFK); and Chicago. MexSeaSun is available via the GDSs and VAX Vacation Access. For call center reservations, call (866) 263-9732 or visit www.mexseasun.com.

BRISAS HOTELS & Resorts said it will open Las Brisas Huatulco, the former Club Med Huatulco, in November. The firm bought the resort earlier this year and embarked on a multimillion-dollar renovation. "We have a very ambitious refurbishing project under way, which will modify the rooms and services in accordance to the philosophy" of the Mexican hotel company, said Rafael Millan, CEO. In addition to Las Brisas Huatulco, Brisas Hotels & Resorts owns and operates Las Brisas Acapulco; Las Brisas Ixtapa; Las Hadas Manzanillo; Hacienda Jurica in Queretaro; and Galeria Plaza in Mexico City. For information or reservations, call (888) 559-4329 or visit the Web at www.brisas.com.mx.

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