Mexico Premiere Bloggers Chosen for the Mexico Today Team!

By Lisa Coleman

Just returned from a fantastic 4-day business trip to Oaxaca… Lucky me! (When I think about it, it’s fairly difficult to call a trip to Oaxaca a “business trip”… isn’t it?) Anyway, I haven’t been to this colonial gem in several years, but all was still as magical. The city was chosen as the destination for the “Mexico Today Kick-Off Event.” The Mexico Today program is funded by the Mexican government and headed up by the brilliant Jaime Diaz and the talented group from Ogilvy Public Relations. This joint public and private sector initiative is designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination. David Simmonds and I have been selected to be a part of the newly formed (2010) Mexico Today team and we are both honored to be involved with what is sure to be the most successful program of its kind ever implemented in Mexico.

There are 24 team members divided into 8 “Community Managers” and 16 “Contributors.” We all come from different backgrounds in business and blogging, yet share a love and respect for Mexico. I am a Community Manager and David, a Contributor. Our mutual goal is generate content and commentary focusing on six pivotal topics including: Economy, Security, Infrastructure, Health, Environment and Culture/Travel. I encourage you to learn about Mexico Today (www.mexicotoday.org), follow us on Twitter (@MexicoToday and #MexicoToday) and to join us in conversation on Facebook.

We have built Mexico Premiere on solid opinions and important information that will help educate and enlighten anyone interested in Mexico at any level. We intend to share our blog posts from this site with the Mexico Today website and Facebook page. This is an exciting project for us and we are happy to share this program with our readers and look forward to expanding our Mexico community!

Disclosure:  David Simmonds and I are being compensated for our work in creating content as a Community Manager and Contributor for the México Today Program.  We were also invited to an all-expenses paid trip to Oaxaca as part of our role and for the launch of the program.  All stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared in our blogs are completely our own.

AEROMEXICO ANNOUNCES A NEW FREQUENCY BETWEEN SAN ANTONIO AND MONTERREY

Texans now have a new flight to one of Aeromexico’s most important hubs.

Mexico City.-Aeromexico, Mexico’s global airline, announces three new frequencies between San Antonio, Texas and Monterrey, Mexico, adding more options for Texas travelers.  This flights will officially launch on July 4th, operated on the airline’s Embraer 145 plane with this schedule:

San Antonio – Monterrey

Departure    Arrival
1:50pm       2:55pm

Monterrey – San Antonio

Departure   Arrival
11:55am      1:00pm

With this additional frequencies, Aeromexico adds to its already extensive range of flights, for both business and leisure travelers interested in discovering Monterrey, the capital of the state of Nuevo León, an important industrial and business center known for its colonial and contemporary architecture.

Aeromexico increases the variety of flight itineraries for travelers while connecting them to one of its main hubs and also allows travelers to make important connections within Mexico, using the extensive network that the airline has to offer.

 

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About Grupo Aeromexico

Aeromexico, S.A.B. Ltd., is a holding company whose subsidiaries are engaged in commercial aviation in Mexico and the promotion of passenger loyalty programs. It has a fleet of Boeing 777, 767, 737 and the latest models of Embraer 145 and 190.

Grupo Aeromexico operates its main hub out of Terminal 2 in the Mexico City International Airport. The Group’s airlines operate over 500 daily flights to different cities in Mexico, the United States, Canada, Central and South America, Europe and Asia.

Aeromexico is a founding member of SkyTeam, the global airline alliance comprised of the following 14 airlines: Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Eastern, China Southern, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Kenya Airways, Korean Air, TAROM Romanian Air Transport, and Vietnam Airlines. SkyTeam offers all partner airline passengers a large global network with more destinations and frequencies, and improved connectivity. Passengers can accrue and redeem miles with the different partners’ loyalty programs and enjoy the convenience provided at 465 airport lounges worldwide. SkyTeam offers its 474 million annual passengers more than 14,000 daily flights to 921 destinations in 168 countries. www.skyteam.com

ANNOUNCING THE CANCUN-RIVIERA MAYA WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL

Cancun, Mexico (June 28, 2011) – Food and wine lovers from all over can mark their calendars as the countdown to the First Annual Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival has begun.  Bringing national and international affluent consumers to one of the most visited and picturesque destinations in the world, the inaugural event will take place March 15 – 18, 2012.

Celebrating Star Chefs, Wines and Spirits of the Americas’ continent, Mexican Gastronomy, and special guest of honor, Ferran Adrià — this innovative Festival will feature some 30 events over four days, including the best that Canada, the USA, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru have to offer in terms of talent, wineries, spirits and culture.

A sampling of the festivals events include: The Future of Cooking with Ferran Adrià, Star Chefs Tribute To Mexico Gala Dinner, Celebrity and Winemakers Lunch Cruise, Tapas & Paellas Competition, Ferran Adrià Tribute Dinner, Wine and Spirits Tasting Seminars, Celebrity Chef Cooking Demos, After Dark Cancun Parties, the Amex Gourmet Tasting Village where the best restaurants and gourmet foods, wines, spirits and entertainment will be showcased, and a Closing Latin Grill and Fiesta.

“We’re planning a memorable wine and food experience, on one of the most remarkable cultural and adventure destinations on earth. When still cold in North America,  fantastic weather and some of the nicest beaches in the world will await our international guests. By placing limits on the number of seats at each event, we want to facilitate interaction between our guests and their preferred celebrities. This is an incredible event you won’t want to miss,” says Festival Founder, David Amar.”

CELEBRITY CHEFS FROM 8 COUNTRIES: Ferran Adrià, Spain; Ingrid Hoffman, USA; Jacques Pepin, USA;  Aaron Sanchez, USA; Marcella Valladolid, USA; Cristián Correa, Chile; Jerome Ferrer, Canada; Paulina Abascal, Mexico; Christian Bravo, Mexico; Sergio Camacho, Mexico; Aquiles Chavez, Mexico; Arturo Fernandez, Mexico; Miguel Garcia, Mexico; Paola Garduño, Mexico; Guillermo González, Mexico; Federico López, Mexico; Paco Mendez, Mexico; Benito Molina, Mexico; Ricardo Muñoz, Mexico; Edgar Nuñez, Mexico; Enrique Olvera, Mexico; Bruno Oteiza, Mexico; Patricia Quintana, Mexico; Carmen Ramirez, Mexico; Alejandro Ruiz, Mexico; Roberto Solis, Mexico; and Jonathan Torres, Mexico.  Additional star chefs from Argentina, Brazil and Peru to be announced soon.

 

SPONSORS: The Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival brings together the world’s leading consumer food, wine and spirits producers, importers and distributors, as well as luxury goods companies interested in exposing current brands and/or introducing new brands to affluent customers, primarily from North American and Mexico.

This international festival is the first gourmet lifestyle event dedicated exclusively to celebrating the Best that the Americas continent has to offer in terms of talent, wine, food and spirits, as well as the rich ingredients and cultural traditions known to Mexico, while giving back to the community, with proceeds from the festival supporting local charity Ciudad de la Alegria.

Festival partners and sponsors include: The Cancun Conventions Bureau; the Riviera Maya Tourism Trust, and Visit.Mexico; American Express Company (Mexico); Grupo Herdez, Grupo Modelo, Nestle Waters, Porsche , Aqua Hotel  and many others in advanced discussion. There are a limited number of sponsorship and hospitality opportunities still available.  For additional information, please contact David Amar at 998-164-4487 (Cancun cell) or 514-862-8901 (Montreal, Canada Cell).

 

ABOUT CANCUN-RIVIERA MAYA WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL: Scheduled for March 15 – 18, 2012, tickets for the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Festival will go on sale in October 2011.  For more information on the Festival, please visit www.cancunwineandfoodfest.com.

ABOUT DAVID AMAR: David Amar is the President of Amar & Partners Inc, and a former Partner of Monitor Group, one of the Leading Global Strategy Consulting firms, with some 1,500 consultants working across the world. David has lived and worked in Paris, London, New York, and now shares his time between Cancun and Montreal. A Passionate Gourmand and Gourmet, David has put together an outstanding team of people with major food and wine event production experience, and invites you to share a memorable and intimate Festival, in a unique vacation destination, Cancun and Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Security Assessment Study Finds that Puerto Vallarta Mexico Continues to be one of the Safest Destinations for International Travelers

With all the recent news about the cruise ships pulling out of Puerto Vallarta, we thought it was important to post a link to an article that looks at the positive side of things. In the wake of the murder of a Canadian man living in Vallarta, yet another Mexican resort has to fight to against negative press. However, as most savvy travelers (and now a security assessment study) will attest, crime happens everyplace. Please read the brief article below and hopefully it will reassure any visitors planning a trip to Vallarta.

http://www.travelvideo.tv/news/mexico/06-20-2011/security-assessment-study-finds-that-puerto-vallarta-mexico-continues-to-be-one-of-the-safest-destinations-for-international-travelers

Exploring the Maya World in 2012

by Ron Mader

There are an estimated 7 million indigenous Maya living in southern Mexico and northern Central America at the start of the 21st century.

Look for an increase in tours and events focusing on the Maya in the coming year. Why? The Maya calendar is said to conclude its current cycle on December 21, 2012. The period leading up to the winter solstice in 2012, as well as this particular day, we reckon will be more of the same, bringing what Rob Brezsny says will be the “usual rate of breakdowns and breakthroughs that has characterized the last two decades.”

The breakthrough we would like to see is one in which we learn more from the Maya themselves. We’d like to see tourism that benefits the indigenous communities and in which locals have a greater voice. Please no more replica villages created and funded by outsiders. It would be great to see authentic collaboration among Maya leaders, communities and the national and international tourism players. Instead of performing in shows written about them, if the Maya wanted, they could engage visitors face-to-face. Visitors just need to know where they are invited.

Planeta.com will be updating regional guides. Suggestions are welcome.

Editors of the Planeta Wiki are invited to update the Exploring the Maya World. Let us know what events are taking place within the region and outside.

We would like to extend a cordial invitation to Maya tour operators and tour operators working with Maya communities to share what you are doing online Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube.

If funding permits, we will roll out a new call for nominees for the Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award. 2012 could be a pivotal year indeed.

Buzzword Bingo: Maya

Father’s Day

David Simmonds

Mother’s Day in Mexico is always on May 10, although it is the second Sunday in May in the U.S. But Father’s Day, Dia Del Padre,  is today in both countries, the third Sunday in June. So, here’s a little story about me and my dad, who first introduced me to Mexico when I was 11 years-old on a weekend fishing trip to Ensenada. The following story took place a year later.

I was a 12-year-old in Little League, first game of the season. One of the umps didn’t show, so my dad was asked to ump the bases (he was still playing in a fast-pitch softball league in has late 30’s). I was pitching a one-hitter in the last inning, but we were down 2 – 1 to the Travelers. I came to bat with 2 outs and caught a pitch just right. I can still remember the ball hitting the bat – actually, when hit right on the sweet spot your hands feel nothing, and the sound of the bat meeting ball is different, sort of a solid crack/explosion (this was still the wooden bat days). There was no fence at the ball field at Norton AFB  in San Bernardino where we were playing, and when I now close my eyes I can still see the ball flying towards the eucalyptus grove in left field, far beyond the light poles. I could have walked around the bases, but my dad always told me to hustle and never show up your opponent, so I put my head down and ran as fast as I could, as I tied the game 2 – 2. But then, as I headed for the dugout, the other team’s coach had his players throw the ball to third base, claiming that I had missed the bag on the way around the bases. I looked in confused disbelief as my dad raised his right arm and called me out. Third out, game over. It was the only I game I lost pitching for the next three years. I know it hurt my dad to do what he did, and at first I was furious. But in time I knew that he did what he had to do – doing otherwise was not an option for the Texas-born man who was incapable of telling a lie. Dad died in 1980 at the age of 56 when his heart, always so full of life and goodness, suddenly, without warning, simply quit. I still think about him just about every day – but especially today.


News From Jimm Budd

Official enchantment

Tourism Minister Gloria Guevara says that there are now 52 pueblos mágicos, picturesque towns that officially have been designated as magical. Such towns receive federal subsidies in return for improving their appearance. A few that failed to do their part have, in a manner of speaking, been turned back into pumpkins with subsidies withdrawn.

Small Airlines get bigger

New, low-fare Volaris has announced the acquisition of a fourth Airbus A320, giving the carrier a fleet of 28 jets. Of these, 24 are A319s. Meanwhile, new, low-fare VivaAerobus announced that it plans to invest 60 million dollars to add 20 jets to its fleet by the end of 2013, giving it a total of 35 planes. As for Mexicana, its future continues to remain in question.

Green hotels

Mexico now has 44 hotels that qualify as “green,” according to international standards. While the United States has about one thousand more, Mexico is easily the leader in Latin America and the Caribbean. Rodrigo Cobo, general director of Travelocity in Mexico, is among those promoting greater ecological sensitivity in the hospitality industry.

Foreign residents

According to the 2010 census figures, about 21,000 American citizens who are over 60 years old live in Mexico. In total, Mexico has 961,000 foreign-born residents, nearly double the number in 2000. Most are from the United States, 57 percent under 15 years old. It is assumed these are the children of returning migrant workers.

Cancun seeks the sick

Four more private hospitals – in addition to the ten now operating – will be built in Cancun and the neighboring Riviera Maya during the next two years. Servando Acuña, president of Medical Travel Cancun, told a press conference that nearly 50 million dollars will be invested in the new facilities. Goal is to increase medical tourism in the area from 2,200 patients annually to about 10,000. Lower costs compared to the United States are the main appeal.