By Judy Newell
Mexico Travel News
Tourism industry in good health
Mexico’s tourism industry has recorded steady, sustained growth during the past five years, driven in part by strength in its 5-star and beach resorts. Tourism is the fourth source of income in the country and represents 8.4 percent of GDP.
Mexico is the top tourism destination in Latin America and ranks 15th in the world, according to the World Tourism Organization. It is ranked second in the world for medical tourism; fourth in cultural tourism; sixth with the most “World Heritage” sites; and its cuisine is one of three in the world declared as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
First surfing world championship in Mexico
The 2015 International Surfing Association (ISA) Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championship will be held in Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit, May 10-17. It will be the first ISA World Championship to take place in Mexico.
Riviera Nayarit offers 192 miles of Pacific coastline, and Sayulita is considered the epicenter of Mexico’s SUP community. More than 300 competitors from over 30 countries will compete in 11 different disciplines for the World Team Champion Trophy and the individual Gold Medals.
Jean-Michel Cousteau to guest host cruises
Passengers aboard four cruises in the South Pacific next year will meet and hear lectures by world-renowned oceanographer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau. He will be on board the 332-guest MS Paul Gauguin on 10-night sailings to the Society Islands & Tuamotus on March 2, June 1, and September 21, 2016.
He’ll also sail on a 14-night cruise to the Marquesas, Tuamotus and Society Islands on November 19, 2016. Prices start at US$5,595 per person, based on double occupancy, and include the cruise and airfare from Los Angeles, according to the cruise line’s website.
Paddlewheel ship launched on Loire
French-based river cruise line CroisiEurope unveiled an innovative new vessel, the first-ever river cruise boat on the Loire River. The 96-passenger Loire Princesse was designed for shallow waters with a dual propulsion system including a small paddle wheel on the side. Until now, ships with overnight cabins have not operated on France’s longest river due to periods of low water.
The Loire Princesse features 48 outside cabins, a single-seating restaurant, a lounge with a central dance floor and sun deck. The vessel will operate six- and eight-day roundtrip cruises from Nantes visiting destinations such as Saint-Nazaire, the chateaux of the Loire Valley, and wine-growing regions.
Best of Cape Town and Botswana Safari
Escape to Africa on an 11-night affordable luxury safari vacation with no single supplement. It is priced from US$4,998 per person with round trip air included from New York or Washington, D.C.
You will spend four days in Cape Town. Enjoy its scenic beauty, culture, and great restaurants with time to browse at Cape Town’s bustling Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Then explore Botswana’s Okavango Delta with its spectacular landscape and wealth of wildlife. Go on safari and see elephants, hippos, and thriving populations of lion and leopard.
The safari vacation includes round trip international economy airfare on South African Airways from New York (JFK) or Washington, D.C. (Dulles) to Cape Town; game drives, boat safaris, and walking safaris; 4 nights at the deluxe Commodore Hotel in Cape Town; 3 nights at the luxury tented Kadizora Camp in the Okavango Delta, Botswana; and 2 nights at Elephant Valley Lodge in luxury safari tents in Chobe National Park, Botswana.
The Best of Cape Town & Botswana Safari is valid for select departure dates September 2015- March 2016. The per person price is based on double occupancy. No single supplement is based on limited availability. Includes fuel surcharges, government taxes, and departure fees.
Deal of the Week
Tiger Trails—13-day cultural tour of India
Starting in Mumbai, discover its beautiful Victorian Gothic architecture and the fascinating rock sculptures of Elephanta Caves. Then fly via Nagpur to take game drives in Pench National Park and Kanha National Park—described by Rudyard Kipling in The Jungle Book. Kanha National Park is now a tiger reserve. Finally, drive to the exotic Temples of Khajuraho and then fly to Delhi, the capital of India.
English-speaking departures in 2015 are October 19 & December 14; in 2016, January 25, February 16, March 14 & April 18. Other departure dates are available for tours conducted in Spanish, French, German, and Italian.
Per person tour price: October 16, 2015-April 15, 2016, US$3,450, single supplement US$750. Tour cost using 5-star hotels: US$8,225, single supplement US$3,125. Estimated economy airfare from West Coast USA US$1,600; from East Coast USA US$1,400. All prices are in US dollars. This tour does not operate from May to September. The tour operates with a minimum of two guests.
Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys which specializes in tours, cruises, and travel for the discerning traveler. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any of the Travel News topics; cell phone 415 111-8765; Vonage 949 300-3682; email firstname.lastname@example.org or view the latest travel specials on the website www.perfectjourneys.net where you can book your hotels, tours and cruises online.
Sources: Hotel News Now; CVB Riviera Nayarit; Los Angeles Times; Cruise Critic; Lion World Travel; Bestway Tours & Safaris