Can Cozumel Survive More Tourists?

By: Lisa Coleman

I was doing my usual surfing for blog topics and I came across this press release. My first thought:  “that’s interesting.” My next thought, “enough is enough.” I guess I just don’t understand the need to build an amusement park in Cozumel. It breaks my heart when the lure of money pushes all concern for nature and preservation to the back burner. I fully embrace the educational aspect of “Mayan Adventure,” but the “man-made beach,” and “indoor/outdoor high speed roller coaster” are a bit much, don’t you think?

A man-made beach?  That is code for “we destroyed acres and acres of natural landscape and moved sand to accommodate more people.”  What’s up with that?  The entire island of Cozumel is only 26 miles long and 9 miles wide and is already stuffed with over a million daily cruise ship passengers a year.

There is only one town and the reef system (considered one of the most beautiful in the world) has already suffered considerable damage from the influx of divers and boaters. 

This is my favorite quote:
Henny Watts, Owner/CEO ReMax Cozumel, said: “This is a great opportunity for Cozumel. It helps put Cozumel on the map and allows tourist to see how much of a beautiful jewel Cozumel really is“.

I’m not seeing it. To me, this only serves to further destroy what is left of this “beautiful jewel.” You be the judge, but I think the last thing Cozumel needs is a mini Disneyland that expects 1.4 million visitors a year.

Here you go:
Cozumel Government Partners With Elated Worldwide Group in Plans to Develop And Build the First Amusement Park in Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel looks to ensure its place in the tourist trade by partnering with Elated Worldwide Group Corporation of San Diego California on this project. “Mayan Adventures“, will be built on 60 acres in one of the top tourist destinations in Mexico. The conceptual master plan is currently being developed in two phases, with the initial ground breaking in spring of 2009.

The first phase of the project will be a water park attraction, expected to be operational by summer of 2010 and will be the island of Cozumel’s first water park. There are nine various water attractions planned ranging from a children’s pirates play structure and a relaxing man-made beach area, to a thrilling white water rapids inner-tube ride for the true adrenaline fans
With an expected opening of summer 2012, the second phase of “Mayan Adventures” theme park will include one thrill ride, three indoor/outdoor high speed coaster rides, an indoor and an outdoor stage show as well as enriching educational presentations on the Mayan culture. The rides are new and unique, developed specifically for “Mayan Adventures”, incorporating cutting edge technology.

Additionally, Elated Worldwide Group will undoubtedly decrease unemployment and generate increased international corporate sponsorship opportunities for the area. Projected attendance of visitors to the park is 1.4 million annually.

Henny Watts, Owner/CEO ReMax Cozumel, said: “This is a great opportunity for Cozumel. It helps put Cozumel on the map and allows tourist to see how much of a beautiful jewel Cozumel really is“.

DKY Architects of Irvine California and Elated Worldwide Group will also work together to integrate their expertise to create new and exciting concepts in areas, such as introducing branded restaurants, hotels and retail outlets that will holistically offer unique travel and vacation opportunities for tourists, families and visitors from around the world.
Alexander Evans, Executive Consultant of Strategic Development for Elated, said: “We are very excited about concept master plan that will facilitate other works to commence. The project will be one of the key additions to Cozumel tourism.”

Mexico’s Language Schools

David Simmonds

Mexico travel has different meanings to different people. Cruises are popular and a good value these days, although floating around with the same people for several days doesn’t appeal to me, even with the big buffets, open bars, and craps tables. Others prefer big, glitzy resorts with an all-inclusive plan with those little umbrellas in their daiquiris and Mexican Fiesta on Saturday night. And then there are the more adventurous travelers who rent a car or take the bus from town to town, exploring the countryside and culture along the way, staying in smaller pensiones and boutique hotels.

And now more people are discovering another purpose to their Mexico trip – learning the Spanish language. Language schools can be found in many of Mexico’s most popular destinations and offer various length courses. The popular web site planeta.com has a great directory here http://www.planeta.com/schoolist.html

One of the oldest and most successful schools is Instituto Chac-Mool in beautiful Cuernavaca, Morelos http://www.chac-mool.com. They stress the Sheltered Instruction and Natural Approach techniques with classes lasting for as little as one-week or as long as six months. College credit can even be attained with some of their courses.

So the next time you want to try something different from the standard Mexico vacation think about what you will gain by learning the Spanish language, fully immersed in the Mexican culture.

AeroMexico Dedicate Flights to Medical Tourism

(From a press releas published in the New Mexico Business Weekly)

AeroMexico, which recently launched flights from Albuquerque to Chihuahua City, has formed a partnership with the Medical Tourism Association to help patients traveling to Latin America for medical treatment.The Medical Tourism Association projects demand among U.S. residents for medical treatment (including elective surgery) in other countries will quadruple from 1.5 million patients in 2008 to 6 million in 2010 as consumers, health insurers and employers seek medical care that is not available here or not as affordable.

By 2017, as many as 23 million Americans could be traveling internationally and spending $79.5 billion per year for medical care, according to “Deloitte Report, Medical Tourism: Consumers in Search of Value.” Jonathan Edelheit, president of the Medical Tourism Association, said Latin America is poised to become one of the top destinations for medical tourism for U.S. residents.

The Association has designated AeroMexico as the preferred airline for patients of its medical providers in Latin America. These patients are seeking a variety of services, from medical and dental care to cosmetic surgery. These customers and their travel companions will be eligible for special travel packages through the airline’s designated travel wholesalers, as well as the AeroMexico and Medical Tourism Association Web sites.
The Association cited AeroMexico’s service and its large number of non-stop flights from the U.S. to Mexico City, offering connecting service to other destinations in Latin America.

The Medical Tourism Association is a nonprofit made up of international hospitals, health care providers, medical travel facilitators, insurance companies and affiliated companies.It is partnering with AeroMexico to support the Latin America Medical Tourism and Health Tourism Congress April 27 to 29 in Monterrey, Mexico.

Firsthand Account: Mexico is Safe (As Long As You’re Not a Narco)

By Lola

Nope, I’m not talking about myself (for once): I am neither in Mexico at the moment (wah!), nor am I a narco.

However, I did just read a great firsthand account of somebody who is actually there as we “speak”: prolific writer Karen Catchpole. Karen has embarked on a marvelous road-trip she and her media naranja, photographer Eric Mohl, call the Trans-Americas Journey. To say I’m jealous of what they’re up to is a gross understatement, but that won’t prevent me from cheering them on and wishing them an amazing viaje.

Anyway, the point is: she’s been traveling through Mexico—pretty much from one end to the other—since December, and in her own words, “I can address the safety question by telling you that dozens of the country’s beaches, towns, cities, attractions, restaurants, spas, hotels and resorts that I’ve visited have proven to be 100% incident free.”

I wholeheartedly invite you to read her excellent take on the situation in Mexico in her post at itravelishop.com titled “Safety First: Vamos a México!” It’s a fantastic look at travel in Mexico from the point of view of a blonde gringa with an open mind, a fine talent and a wonderfully adventurous spirit.

She also gives a great shout-out to Mexico Boutique Hotels. In my opinion, these guys are the best around at finding and vetting marvelous little places that truly offer a sense of place. I wrote about one a while back—Casa de Mita. Still think they rock. MBH has added a few new gems to their line-up, so feel free to look around.

Is Mexico dangerous? Yes, if you are careless. Is is still a fantastic place to visit and a place where you might find the meaning of vivir tu vida? Yes, I firmly believe so.

So c’mon. Explore. Enjoy. And create some magic of your own in Mexico (jeez, I sound better than their ad campaign). Ha!

Yes, it's Casa de Mita. So I'm biased. Sue me.
Yes, it's Casa de Mita. So I'm biased. Sue me.

Folk Art Auction Helps Support Internet Workshops in Oaxaca

by Ron Mader

Planeta.com launches our first online auction of traditional folk art from
Oaxaca, Mexico. The first piece is a design called the Granada Flower (Flor
de Granada) made by Luis Lazo Mendoza from the village of Teotitlán del
Valle. The weaving is 145×76 centimeters in size (57×30 inches).

Since not everyone can travel, Planeta.com is collaborating with the
artisanos in this online auction. Profits from the auction are used to
subsidize internet training offered to the artisanos. Ron Mader has offered
these workshops in Oaxaca since 2001.

“We are delighted to provide for auction a weaving prepared by one of the
students who participated in the Oaxaca Amigos English Language Class last
year,” said Planeta.com founder Ron Mader. “Beyond this auction, we
encourage everyone to visit the folkart workshops in person. It’s the best
way to make lasting friendships with the artisans.”

DETAILS

The Flor de Granada Auction concludes Tuesday March 31 (noon, Mexico time). Winners will need to
add a shipping fee. Winning bids will be tracked on the Oaxaca Wikispace.

Flor de Granada (2009 Auction)

MEXICO TO HOST 34TH ANNUAL TRAVEL INDUSTRY TRADESHOW-TIANGUIS TURISTICO IN ACAPULCO

Miami, FL (March 25TH, 2009) – The Mexico Ministry of Tourism and The Mexico Tourism Board’s are excited to announce  the 34th annual Tianguis Turistico, the most important business marketplace event for travel professionals, which will take place on April 26th-29th . Thousands of domestic and international buyers will gather at the popular seaside city of Acapulco at the International Acapulco Center to meet with over 500 suppliers.

The travel trade show is the largest of its kind in Latin America and this edition will include daily press conferences from tourist professionals, from both the public and private sectors, as well as the many destinations throughout Mexico and of course the opportunity to network between buyers and sellers. Destinations compete for the top legendary after parties, highlighting the reasons why Acapulco is the ultimate tourist destination. This year, Mexico Premiere will present the first ever Nick Gallo Award, started by in honor of the late travel writer, Nick Gallo.

Tourism is very important to Mexico’s economy, since it is the country’s third source of revenue and that is reflected in the scope and extravagance of this always delightful and productive event. Unlike the majority of tourism fairs, which promote tourism to several countries, Tianguis Turistico sells and promotes one single country-Mexico; a unique destination for its diversity, culture, natural beauty, historical background, and the warmth that characterizes the Mexican people

Since opening 34 years ago, the Tianguis Turistico has been a unique platform of business for the commercialization of products and tourist services, and year after year the number of buyers and exhibitors has increased.

Last year, there was an 11 percent increase in the number of businesses exhibitors compared to 2007, and the 32 Mexican states were present, as well as other countries that integrate Mexico with the International Mayan World such as Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Belize.

For booth space for or additional information about the fair, please visit:

http://www.tianguisturistico.com.mx

About the Mexico Tourism Board

The Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) brings together the resources of federal and state governments, municipalities and private companies to promote Mexico’s tourism attractions and destinations internationally. Created in 1999, the MTB  is  Mexico’s  tourism  promotion  agency, and its participants include members  of  both  the  private  and  public  sectors.  The MTB has offices throughout    North    America,    Europe,   Japan    and   Latin   America.  For more information on destinations and online trip bookings please go to www.visitmexico.com .

LOS CABOS TO HOST 2009 IGFA OFFSHORE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, MAY 10-15

 

Los Cabos, Mexico –  The Los Cabos Convention & Visitors Bureau recently announced its participation as the Official Destination Sponsor of the 2009 IGFA Offshore World Championship, scheduled to take place in Cabo San Lucas May 10-15, 2009.

The IGFA Offshore World Championship, often referred to as the Olympics of Sportfishing, has become one of the most prestigious blue-water fishing competitions in the world. In only six short years, the event has grown to host over 70 teams from 30 countries around the globe. The tournament’s strict format has proved to be successful, as all participants must win one of the more qualifying tournaments around the world in order to receive an invitation.

The Los Cabos Convention & Visitors is thrilled to be the host and official destination sponsor for this prestigious tournament, says Gonzalo Franyutti, President, Los Cabos Convention & Visitors Bureau. Los Cabos offers competing anglers the best fishing conditions in the world, along with exceptional accommodations and one of the world’s largest fleet of charter boats available.

Known as The Marlin Capital of the World, Los Cabos is ranked among the top five fishing destinations in the world. The azure waters of the Sea of Cortes are brimming with marine life, including black, blue and striped marlin. Anglers from around the world venture to Los Cabos to experience what many claim to be the best sportfishing of their life. These ideal conditions make Los Cabos a perfect location for tournaments and the destination hosts several throughout the year, including the annual Los Cabos Billfish Tournament, and the annual Bisbee’s Black & Blue Tournament.www.igfaoffshorechampionship.com.www.visitloscabos.travel.

Accommodations for the IGFA Offshore World Championship will be provided by the Hotel Finisterra in Cabo San Lucas. For tournament rates and additional information, please visit

Families, honeymooners, mature travelers, golfers, eco-tourists, artists, photographers, sightseers and others find what they are looking for when they visit Los Cabos. Located at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, Los Cabos offers travelers an exotic escape within easy reach of most U.S. cities.

With non-stop flights or convenient connections available from Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento, California; Houston and Dallas, Texas; Portland, Oregon; Kansas City, Missouri; Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New York/ Newark, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Seattle and more, Los Cabos is both accessible and exciting. For more about Los Cabos-and a copy of its informative travel planner, call 1-866-LOS-CABOS or visit