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On Site: Amex Says Belize and Argentina Top Latin America Travel
NEW YORK CITY -- Audrey Hendley, vice president of marketing for Amex Consumer Travel Network, says the most popular region for international travel is Latin America, with Belize and Argentina leading the pack. “We are seeing more and more people going to Belize and Argentina simply because they offer great quality for a very affordable price,” she says.
Despite U.S. economy woes, American Express Consumer Travel Network saw a 13 percent spike in business for the first quarter of 2008. At Amex’s Fine Hotels and Resorts Forum Thursday, Lynne Biggar, senior vice president and general manager of the Amex Consumer Travel Network, told Travel Agent that people are still taking trips, they’re just doing it differently. “People are going on shorter trips, staying at affordable resorts, are spending a little less, but they’re still traveling,” Biggar said.
Real Resorts Begins Plans to Restore Mexico Beachfronts
Mexico hotel company Real Resorts announced Friday the completion of the first portion of major project to restore several damaged beachfronts. According to Real Resorts’ Chief Executive Officer Fernando Garcia, the goal of the project is to replenish at least 1,300 linear feet of waterfront property and to protect existing resort structures from erosion.
The process involved called for creating a breakwater reef system to protect the beach from seasonal erosion. The first step of this effort was completed May 14 at the Gran Caribe Real resort in Cancun. According to a written release, “The Cancun and Riviera Maya project is designed to refurbish beaches damaged by hurricane storms over the last several years and restore them to the spectacular condition that has made the region one of the most exclusive vacation choices in the Caribbean.” Visit www.realresorts.com.
Belize Signs Declaration Aimed At Environmental Conservation
Members of Belize’s cruise tourism industry, government officials and cruise lines have signed a declaration committed to sustainable cruise industry practices, such as protecting coral reefs.
“This agreement marks an important paradigm shift, with leaders from both the international cruise industry and cruise ship destination industry jointly embracing the idea that managing cruise destination areas is a shared responsibility in which all stakeholders play an important role,” said Seleni Matus of Conservation International, which is behind the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative. Among the actions Belize agreed to via the declaration are enhancing marine and coastal resources, improving tourism planning and promoting conservation awareness among cruise ship visitors. Visit www.conservation.org.
NEST Conference Planned for Mexico
The Network of Entrepreneurs Selling Travel (NEST) will hold its fourth annual conference in Xcaret, Mexico, November 13-16, 2008, at the Occidental Grand Xcaret. The NEST FEST 2008 conference agenda offers guest speakers, product training, sales and marketing seminars and opportunities for face-to-face networking with peers and suppliers.
Agents will also be updated on the portfolio of NEST products and services. An early bird registration fee of just $79 per person ($30 off the full rate) is in effect until July 1. The fee includes: registration, all seminars, all materials, welcome cocktail party, private beach party and award ceremony dinner. NEST preferred supplier Travel Impressions will host a two-night pre-FAM to Cancun and the Mayan Riviera—including deluxe stays at either the Paradisus Riviera Cancun or the Excellence Riviera Cancun. For more information, contact NEST at 888-245-NEST x3007, or visit www.jointhenest.com
Princess Announces Mexico Itineraries for 2009-2010
Princess Cruises announced last week a new season of cruises to Mexico’s Riviera Maya.
Sapphire Princess will be sailing on the seven-day Mexican Riviera route from Los Angeles and Star Princess will be cruising on 10-day voyages from San Francisco. Visit www.princesscruise.com.
The Latest Deals: Real Resorts Offers Agents $50 Bonus
Real Resorts in Mexico is offering a $50 bonus for every new reservation of four consecutive nights or more with the company’s new “More for 4” program. It applies to reservations made at either The Royal in Cancun or The Royal in Playa del Carmen from now through December 22, 2009. For every tenth suite reserved, travel agents receive an additional $250 bonus commission. Visit www.realresorts.com.
The Latest Deals: Golf Getaway in Nuevo Vallarta
The “Unlimited Golf Getaway Package” at the all-inclusive Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort includes unlimited golf per person, per day, at the Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf 18-hole par 72 championship golf courses; ocean-view accommodations in a Parlor or Master Suite; and a 45-minute guided hydrotherapy. Rates for the “Unlimited Golf Getaway Package” begin at $630 per person, per night, from now through December 18, based on double occupancy. All taxes and gratuities are included in the nightly rate. Visit www.grandvelas.com.
The Latest Deals: Biker Party in Mexico
Tesoro Resorts, Los Cabos is offering a package for your motorcycle–loving clients. The 286-room hotel in Cabo San Lucas is offering a three-day package from July 17-19 as part of the fourth annual International Motorcycle Week. The event will be hosted by the Baja Bikers and sponsored by Yamaha Motor Corporation, Harley Davidson, Hard Rock Café, Cerveza Pacifico and more. The package is $105 per night for deluxe rooms and $125 per night for junior suites (plus applicable taxes) with a free, all-access pass to events including the Hard Rock Cafe opening night party. Other amenities include no cover for nightly live music, access to all three days of events, a wet T-shirt contest, an official International Motorcycle Week 2008 T-shirt and lunch on the beach on July 19.
Book online at www.tesororesorts.com/loscabos using promo code BIKER or by calling 1-866-99-TESORO.