Roundtable: Mexico Tourism Professionals Share Hot and Cold Destinations

As part of our recent coverage of the Tianguis Turistico event in Acapulco, Travel Agent chatted with Mexico tour operators and a hotelier about what destinations improved this year in Mexico and beyond.

Rienk de Jong, director of sales and marketing for Karisma Hotels & Resorts, says 2017 is turning out to be a “tremendous year” for the all-inclusive company, especially with Karisma’s recent expansion into Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, in the form of the new Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts brand. 

Eduardo Marcos, president of American Airlines Vacations, says the last three years have been a “rebirth” for American Airlines Vacations, and he expects ongoing growth to continue as the company continues to roll out new initiatives to engage travel agents.

For Flight Centre, the parent company of GOGO Vacations, Mark Benson, vice president of leisure product and sales support, says the election season and Zika hurt business a bit in 2017 with Northern Europe perhaps taking the biggest hit. Benson says Caribbean and Mexico sales also suffered due to Zika, but have both returned in 2017. Europe, however, remains a bit slow, Benson says. 

Delta Vacations experienced similar drop-offs in the Caribbean and Mexico, but has seen those numbers return to normal in 2017, says Elizabeth Moriarty, vice president of product development for Delta Vacations. And people are spending in 2017, she says. Moriarty says Delta is seeing more interest in upscale properties with strong demand for four-star hotels and above. 

Jack E. Richards, president and CEO of Pleasant Holidays, said his company had the best year in its history in 2016 while Tim Mullen, president of Apple Vacations, told Travel Agent the last three years have been excellent and 2017 is off  to a “gangbusters start.”

Federico Moreno-Nickerson, director of product development for the Caribbean and Mexico for Classic Vacations, also says his company saw declines in 2016 for Europe and the Caribbean, although Mexico was up last year. For this year, however, Moreno-Nickerson, says the demand for Mexico is looking very strong. 

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