ACAPULCO, Mexico – As part of our coverage of the Mexico Tianguis Turistico, Travel Agent sat down with Ken Pomerantz, president and chief marketing officer of major tour operator, MLT Vacations.
Although Pomerantz didn´t give us specifics, we learned that the Minnesota-based company, which added an array of Caribbean and Mexico destinations to its portfolio last year, plans to remain aggressive in 2010.
He told Travel Agent that there are plans to add a host of destinations in Central and South America, the Middle East and Europe. Although we didn’t get the specific destinations, Pomerantz told us an announcement could come as early as 30-60 days.
As far as Mexico goes, business is back to normal following a devastating 2009 in Mexico tourism. In fact, Pomerantz says Mexico currently makes up roughly 40-percent of MLT’s total business, giving the Caribbean a little more competetion than it had last year.
“Last year, you had H1N1 and the violence driving everyone away from Mexico to the Caribbean,” Pomerantz says, referring to both the Dominican Republic and Jamaica’s increases stemming from clients looking to change their Mexico vacations.
“But it’s different this year,” he says. “Everyone is coming back to Mexico, so the Caribbean and Mexico are back to fighting for the same business.”
And in order to compete, both regions will have to offer added value and deals, a trend that Pomerantz expects to last until at least 2011.
“I expect that clients are going to continue to look for those value deals when traveling because it has pretty much become the norm now,” he says, “and I think that is something we will continue to see for the rest of the year and through next year as well. You didn’t see the Caribbean doing it as much as Mexico last year, but that is changing fast.”