AmEx Preferred Partners: Mexico is Bouncing Back But Holiday Bookings Could Be Better

As part of our ongoing coverage of the 2011 American Express Travel U.S. Representative Network Conference, Travel Agent toured the floor of the event's Preferred Partner Expo to see how suppliers' business to Mexico was going.

The consensus?

The destination is slowly bouncing back after negative publicity hurt tourism to the country in both 2009 and 2010, but holiday bookings for this season could be much better.

"There is still a lot of inventory available for the holidays in Mexico, still a lot of availability," says Greg Bernd, co-president of Classic Vacations,"and we are trying our hardest to spread the word and try to fill up the space as much as we can."

Having said that, Bernd says Mexico remains the third hottest destination for holidays for Classic Vacations after Hawaii and the Caribbean.

"Mexico really seems to be coming back," he says. "It's all about perception. And those who really know the country, know that it is safe enough to travel to."

And apparently that perception is positive for customers of Pleasant Holidays, which has had a substantial increase in Mexico bookings in the last 8-10 weeks, says Samantha Gorin, business development manager for Pleasant Holidays.

"There is still a lot of space for the holidays," she says, "but the interest is definitely getting higher, namely in Cabo San Lucas and the Cancun/Riveria Maya region."

Darya Camacci, vice president of sales for Funjet Vacations, however, says holiday bookings have been solid for the company. In fact, Mexico still remains Funjet's number one destination, she says.

And that's not the only good news Mexico received recently. Princess Cruises recently announced a tentative plan to return to both Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta after canceling calls there earlier in the year due to a U.S. Travel Advisory to both destinations.

The line could return calls there as early as November of 2012.

"The possibility of returning to these destinations is very exciting for us," says Anthony Viciana, regional sales director for Princess Cruises. "Mexico has always been a staple for us."

Keep visiting for more updates from the 2011 American Express Travel U.S. Representative Network Conference.

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