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Travel News

Waterways mekong

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Tourism official debunks reports that Acapulco is unsafe

It’s business as usual in Acapulco, said Pedro Hace, president of the Acapulco Destination Marketing Office, debunking a recent report from the U.S. embassy in Mexico that deemed the destination unsafe in the wake of protests over the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero, the state in which Acapulco is located. “Acapulco remains a safe destination for tourists,” said Hace. “However, for the peace of mind of tourists, the government has enforced patrols and road and airport supervision by the Federal Police.”

Such scheduled events as the New Year’s fireworks display and Mexican Tennis Open in early 2015 will take place as planned.

Aeromexico begins seasonal flights to Denver

Aeromexico announced that on December 15 it will begin operating its traditional seasonal service between Mexico City and Denver, offering 17 flights a week for passengers interested in enjoying winter skiing at leading resort destinations such as Vail and Aspen. Also, Aeromexico will operate seven direct flights from Guadalajara to Denver between December 18, 2014 and January 4, 2015. These new routes will be served with Boeing 737 aircraft with 124 passenger seats, including 12 in the Class Premier cabin. Aeromexico also features its Gran Plan packages to Vail that include hotel accommodations, round trip ground transportation between the airport in Denver to the hotel in Vail, tours, and a four-day lift ticket package.

Southwest plans to serve Puerto Vallarta

Southwest Airlines will launch daily service between John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California and Puerto Vallarta on June 7, pending government approval. Also, Southwest filed plans to add Saturday service between Baltimore/Washington and Los Cabos, beginning June 13, subject to government approval.

International News

Starwood Hotels debuts keyless entry

Starwood Hotels has launched SPG Keyless, which allows guests to learn their room numbers and unlock doors with their smartphones. It is the hospitality industry’s first mobile keyless entry system, allowing hotel guests to bypass the front desk experience completely. The first 10 participating Starwood hotels include Aloft Beijing, Aloft Cancun, Aloft Cupertino, Aloft Harlem, W Doha, W Hollywood, W Hong Kong, W New York-Downtown, W Singapore, and Element Times Square.

To use the program, travelers register their smartphones through the SPG App (for iPad, iPhone and Android) and allow push notifications. Approximately 24 hours prior to a hotel booking, guests will be invited to opt in to the system in order to receive room number information and a Bluetooth key. All guests have to do is show up at their door, hold the app about a couple of inches from the lock, and—presto—a green light flashes and the door is unlocked.

Touring the gardens of Iran

While the American news media keeps Iran at arms length, there are many North Americans who want to travel there and explore the remnants of its historical antecedent, the Persian Empire. Iran is the site of one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations.

The new tour of Iran focuses on the gardens and historical and archaeological sites of the country. The package is priced at US$4,395 per person double occupancy, not including air. The tour will begin May 2, 2015, in Tehran. The “Persian Gardens and the Treasures of Iran” program is a 15-day tour led by Jill Cherry, a British landscape architect and historian of gardens, who has previously served as the director of the gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK and of the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, Canada.

The itinerary will include an exploration of the capital city of Tehran, including the Golestan Palace, the Crown Jewels Museum, and the National Museum of Iran; the city of Bam; the Prince’s Garden at Mahan; the shrine of Ne’matollah Vali, a 15th century Sufi poet; the ancient city of Yazd and the Bagh-e Dolat Abad Garden; Shiraz, the Garden City; and a three-day visit to Isfahan, an ancient capital of Persia. The itinerary includes several UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Delta confirms it’s going with Airbus

Delta will go with Airbus in a deal for 50 wide-body jets that would be worth more than US$14 billion at list prices, according to multiple reports. The Wall Street Journal calls the reported order “a big victory for the European company in its battle with Boeing to sell long-range passenger aircraft.” Boeing has about 850 outstanding orders for the Dreamliners, and is moving to increase its production levels to meet the demand.

Deal of the Week

Free air or up to US$2,500 off on Vietnam and Cambodia river cruises

Free airfare from LAX, SFO, JFK, or ORD or up to US$2,500 off per stateroom on AMA Waterways 16-day “Vietnam, Cambodia & the Riches of the Mekong.” Spend two nights in Hanoi, overnight in Ha Long Bay, then travel to Siem Reap for three nights before embarking on your Mekong River cruise, ending your journey with a two-night stay in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) OR choose a three-night Siem Reap extension before embarking on your cruise. Travel to Hanoi and return from Ho Chi Minh City. Offers are valid on new reservations booked by January 31, 2015. The single supplement is waived for solo travelers.

Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys which specializes designing independent tours, cruises, and travel for discerning travelers. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any of the Travel News topics; cell phone 415 111 8765, email, or view the latest travel specials on the website where you can book your hotels, tours and cruises online.

Sources: Travel Pulse, Travel Industry Wire, Travel Weekly, Bestway Tours, USA Today, AMA Waterways


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