Mexico Reclaims Lost Ground

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With the H1N1 flu scare abating, destinations such as the marina in Puerto Vallarta are looking to regain tourist dollars

Since the H1N1 virus first hit the scene in late April, Travel Agent hasn’t had a lot of positive news to share about Mexico. Well, we’re happy to report that the worst appears to be over. Here are a few headlines that gave Mexico tourist officials a reason to breathe a sigh of relief.

Mexico Fights Back

In mid-June, Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism launched a recovery campaign to reactivate a tourism industry that’s been hit hard in recent months due to the flu scare.

The first part of the three-phase campaign aired on U.S. television in mid-June, quoting figures such as President Obama and the director of the Centers for Disease Control to convince viewers to “believe it” that Mexico is a safe place to go. Phase two will feature the slogan “welcome back,” to remind past travelers to Mexico that it’s worth visiting. Phase three will offer deals and packages to convince Americans “it’s time to go.”

The campaign will continue through winter and focus on 12 U.S. markets and six markets in Canada, which make up over 80 percent of Mexico’s international tourists.

Barceló Reopens Two Properties

Less than a month after closing due to the H1N1 flu scare, Barceló Tucancun Beach, Cancun, and Barceló Maya Tropical Beach, Riviera Maya, have reopened their doors.

Located on one of the best beaches in Cancun, Barceló Tucancun Beach reopened on June 1. This all-inclusive resort is in Cancun’s famous “hotel zone” between the waters of the Laguna Nichupté and the Caribbean Sea. Barceló Maya Tropical Beach, one of the hotels within the luxurious five-in-one Barceló Maya Beach Resort, reopened its doors in June as well. Visit www.barcelo.com.

Mexico, Google Team Up

The Associated Press reported in late June that Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History has signed an agreement with Google Mexico to promote archaeological and historical sites. The plan uses several elements of the Google platform, including placing maps of archaeological sites and directions to them on Google Earth.

The institute has launched a channel on YouTube at www.youtube.com/INAHTV. The agency said it is starting more interactive and virtual tours, including 360-degree and rotating videos of the pyramids. The institute’s 173 archaeological sites and 116 museums were shut for over a week at the height of the H1N1 hysteria, but reopened in early May.

JetBlue Adds Two Flights

JetBlue has started additional service out of Fort Lauderdale/ Hollywood International Airport in Florida to Cancun. There will be one daily, roundtrip flight departing Fort Lauderdale at 11:31 a.m., arriving in Mexico at 12:15 p.m. local time. Return flights take off from Cancun at
11:55 a.m. and land in Fort Lauderdale at 2:36 p.m. local time.

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