Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Mexico to host World Tourism Day 2014

Mexico was selected to be the official host country for World Tourism Day (WTD) 2014. The theme will be “Tourism and Community Development.”

Celebrated annually on September 27, World Tourism Day is the biggest international event in tourism. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the global community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.

The event seeks to address the global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and highlight the tourism sector’s contribution to achieving these goals. WTD 2013 will be held at the Maldives and Burkina Faso will host for WTD 2015.

Travel Industry Wire

Cancun debuts dine around program

The Cancun Hotel Association is joining forces with local restaurants to create a dine-around program, dubbed “Cancun, Dine Out,” to encourage travelers to sample new eateries. Participating hotels will provide guests with gift cards of up to US$50 for use at a wide variety of Cancun restaurants.

International News

Buffalo Racing Festival in Thailand

The annual Buffalo Race Festival, held around the 11th lunar month, will take place this year October 18-20 in Chonburi province, 100 km away from Bangkok. The Buffalo Race, a hotly contested series of sprints across an open space in front of the town’s municipal offices, is organized annually to reward the buffalos after their hard work throughout the whole year. The event also includes a beauty contest, a comic buffalo costume contest, entertainment for children and folk music concerts. A fair with food stalls and handicrafts will serve visitors who love authentic Thai food, snacks and sweets.

Cruise News

Princess has Alaska, Europe cruise promotions

Princess Cruises has three free offers for passengers booking Alaska or Europe cruises and cruise-tours through October 31. The “3 for Free” sales event includes free room upgrades, a free shore excursion credit and a free specialty restaurant dinner for two. Plus, the deposit is only US$100 per person. The shore excursion credit will give passengers in Europe US$100 per person to spend on tours. In Alaska, passengers will receive US$50 per person.

Silversea success with expedition cruise fleet

Silversea Cruises is finding success in its luxury expedition niche. The adventure cruise division, called Silversea Expeditions, will get its third ship in March 2014 when the 128-passenger Silver Discoverer begins sailing throughout the Pacific region.

The company also launched Galapagos cruises aboard the Silver Galapagos on September 27, 2013. The first ship, Silver Explorer, started cruising for Silversea in 2008. It specializes in the Polar Regions, including Antarctica, Norway, Iceland and Greenland.

The Silver Discoverer will explore Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Micronesia, Melanesia and the Russian Far East. The vessel has a lecture room for briefings about the destinations from the ship’s 11 experts, including expedition leaders, dive masters, marine biologists, historians, geologists and naturalists. Among its destinations, the Silver Discoverer will spend time in Australia’s Kimberley, a wilderness area in Northwest Australia three times the size of England.

Air News

US$99 connection to LAX

Air Tahiti Nui is offering a limited-time “LA Cool to Tahiti Hot” special that will charge passengers US$99 on the domestic leg of their flight to the airline’s LAX gateway from 20 Air Tahiti Nui code-share cities in the US, Canada and Mexico. The deal can save certain passengers up to US$500 off the round-trip fare to Tahiti. The incentive is good for purchase through November 18 for travel November 1 to December 13, 2013 and January 7 to May 14, 2014.

The following cities are included in the promotion: Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Washington DC/Dulles, Guadalajara, Houston, Mexico City, Miami, Montreal, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Reno, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Toronto, Tucson and Washington D.C./Baltimore.

With the “LA Cool to Tahiti Hot” promotion, round-trip tickets to Tahiti via Los Angeles are priced from US$1,513 thanks to the discounted US$99 fare to LAX.

Impossible to use your miles?

Having trouble redeeming your miles or points to fly where you want, on the dates you want, in the cabin you want, for the minimum possible number of miles/points? Gary Leff, Steve Belkin, and the rest of the team behind will find options you probably didn’t know existed and will book your award seats for a fee of US$150 per person. They work miracles with mileage-award redemption.



Deal of the Week

Small ship, big sale: special 2-for-1 fares

If you are looking to take a cruise this year, then take advantage of Voyages of Discovery’s special 2-for-1 fares. Carrying just 550 passengers, Voyager is small enough to reach out-of-the-way ports. And along the way, renowned guest speakers will unlock secrets and share stories and insights. Saver Fares include: all meals, accommodation and entertainment on board; onboard gratuities; onboard service charges and port taxes; transfers; and a comprehensive Guest Speakers program throughout the cruise.

Sample itineraries: Windows on the Ancient World, Athens to Sharm-el-Sheikh, 17 days, departs November 2, 2013, from US$2,099 per person. East to Myanmar and the Orient, Colombo to Port Kelang, 16 days, departs December 19, 2013, from US$1,899 per person.

Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys, which specializes in custom-designed independent tours, cruises and travel for singles, couples and friends. The Perfect Journeys small group tour Paris & the Normandy, A Seine River Cruise, departs May 8 and 11 days. Argentina & Chile for Wine Lovers will take place in October.

Judy will hold a free seminar on Paris & Normandy Tuesday, October 8 at 2pm in the Sala Quetzal of the Biblioteca. Contact Judy by cell phone at 415-111-8765, by email at, or view the latest travel specials on the website

Sources: Travel Pulse, USA Today, Travel Industry Wire, Trails of Indochina, Conde Nast Traveler


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