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Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Mexico—Eighth Most Visited Country in 2016

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), a United Nations agency, has released its World Tourism Barometer, which includes its annual ranking of the most visited countries in the world.

Mexico climbed up to the eighth most visited country for 2016, as a result of receiving more than 35 million international visitors and achieving a growth rate of nine percent. That’s twice the global industry average.

Mexico’s ranking increase, from 15th in the world in 2013 to 8th last year, is the largest of any of the top 25 most visited countries.

Multiple factors could have contributed to the increase in visitors, among them Mexico’s biodiversity, nature and adventure, gastronomy, luxury, high-profile events, cultural traditions such as Day of the Dead, and the weddings, romance, meetings, and events segments.

The government of Mexico, the Minister of Tourism Enrique de la Madrid, and the tourism industry have worked closely to create a strategic, long-term plan to continue to grow the diversity of Mexico’s tourism offerings. The country’s goal is to achieve 50 million international visitors by 2021.

The results of new partnerships with airlines, hotels, and tour operators can be seen in continued growth so far in 2017. The number of seats on international direct flights to Mexico has already increased by more than two million compared to 2016.

Recently, Mexico has also been recognized by the John Mason survey of expatriates in 191 countries as the most welcoming in the world for the third year in a row.


International News

World’s Longest Suspension Bridge Opens

Fear of heights? Don’t look down from the “Europabruecke.” The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, with a length of 494 meters, opened recently in Randa, Switzerland.

The suspension bridge hangs 85 meters above the Grabengufer ravine, which sits at the foot of one of the highest mountains in Switzerland, the Dom (4,545 meters).

The bridge is situated on the Europaweg, a high-altitude hiking trail that connects the villages of Zermatt and Graechen.

The Zermatt tourist office claims it is “one of the most beautiful panorama hiking paths in Switzerland.”


Air News

Southwest Offering Views of Total Solar Eclipse

Looking to get a closer view of the total solar eclipse coming up in August? On August 21, Southwest Airlines (WN) is offering three flights from Denver International Airport to watch the phenomenon:


  • WN 1577, Denver–St. Louis, 10:20am MT
  • WN 301, Denver–Nashville, 10:20am MT
  • WN 1969, Denver–Atlanta, 9:50am MT


There are also two additional flights out of Seattle and Portland. All five flights will travel along the path of totality as the sun becomes blocked below the aircraft. The airline will even give passengers special viewing glasses and “cosmic cocktails” on the menu.

One-way fares on the flights from Denver to St. Louis and Nashville both come in at $148. The longer Denver to Atlanta flight is a bit pricier, with a one-way ticket costing $233.

The eclipse will stretch across the US from just south of Portland, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina, on the morning and afternoon of August 21, starting around 10:15 a.m. PT and ending around 2:40pm ET.

Air France-KLM to Buy Huge Stake in Virgin Atlantic

Collapse in the British pound brought on by Brexit has forced Virgin Atlantic’s hand. It will sell a 31 percent stake in its company to Air France-KLM in order to provide expanded service to customers, according to Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

The partnership positions Branson’s Virgin Group as a minority stakeholder in the airline. Delta will have a 49 percent share in the company. Air France-KLM will own 31 percent, with the Virgin Group operating the remaining 20 percent share. The transaction is said to be worth $287 million.

The agreement means that Virgin Atlantic will now provide onward travel to European destinations for those flying from North America. The airline has previously been unable to secure the necessary slots at London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports to provide flights to other destinations.

The new deal shines a spotlight on a market that is quickly consolidating: British Airways recently merged with Iberia, forming International Airlines Group. Newcomers and an increase in budget carriers are also putting more pressure on airlines to trim expenses and offer lower fares.


Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“Too much rest is rust.”Sir Walter Scott, writer

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Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for over 40 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She designs journeys that are tailored to suit your interests, abilities and budget. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on Travel News topics; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, Car. a Dolores Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website

Sources: Travel Agent Central, Traveller, Fox News, Travel Pulse, Zoetry Wellness & Spa Resorts

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