SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 6, 2006–With spring break
only a few weeks away, the question of whether or not to vacation in
Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in the wake of Hurricane Wilma last October
has been on the minds of many travelers.
In an effort to provide potential tourists with clear expectations
about a Yucatan holiday, Travelocity (NYSE: TSG) sent delegates to the
region and polled customers who visited in the last three months. The
survey shows 90% of the Travelocity customers who traveled to the
Yucatan over the last three months said that they would recommend
travel to the region.
Travelocity representatives agreed but also provided more detail
on the recovery. A traveler should be prepared to see an area that is
still recovering on numerous levels – the most obvious is the
cosmetic. Overwhelmingly, the team felt it possible to travel to
Cancun, Cozumel, and the Mayan Riviera for a full and restful
vacation, and that current tourism levels offered a break from the
larger crowds one might typically experience.
Each location, however, is recovering to different extents, and
construction to bring hotels, restaurants, and shops back to normal is
widely evident, notes Travelocity’s Mexico editor, Jennifer Catto.
Furthermore, people are working hard to lure back tourists, and the
Travelocity team noted that everyone from shop-owners to fruit vendors
in the markets was extremely hospitable, hoping others will enjoy all
the area has to offer, once again.
“It’s as safe to travel to the Yucatan right now as it was before
the hurricane, but be prepared to encounter re-building efforts – it’s
a work in progress to varying degrees, and the Mayan Riviera is
probably your best bet for peace and quiet,” Catto said. “Many hotels
in the region are using rebuilding funds to make upgrades and
enhancements while under construction so booking now for the months
ahead may mean snagging a great deal on what could be an upgraded
hotel by the time you arrive.”
Status of Yucatan Recovery:
Travelocity on-the-ground teams found that most hotels are open,
beaches are in the process of being restored, and many attractions and
activities are operating. Specific details include:
Despite its close association with Cancun, it is hard to tell that
Wilma made her way to the Mayan Riviera. This stretch of coast has
rebounded quickly – most destinations are open and fully operational.
Because the island of Cozumel served as a barrier, this coastline was
spared for the most part, and beaches were not as eroded as in Cancun.
Most restaurants, shops, tourist sites, and nightclubs have reopened
for business, and all hotels are aiming to be completely back to
normal soon. The Travelocity team reports that the Mayan Riviera feels
more peaceful than Cancun because resorts are more spread out and
feature more spacious grounds, making construction less obvious.
The city was exposed to perhaps the harshest effects of Hurricane
Wilma. Almost all hotels in the area were impacted by the storm. The
Travelocity team notes that while travelers can relax on the beach
construction abounds and most hotels are making improvements daily.
Hard hats aside, there are enough hotels and activities open to have a
full vacation, and the atmosphere is very up-beat. There was beach
erosion at some of the resorts in Cancun, meaning that some of the
wider beaches now are smaller, though still inviting, while other
properties gained beach.
While construction is evident throughout Cozumel, the good news is
that some beaches on the island actually gained sand as a result of
the hurricane, making them wider and even more inviting. Beaches that
did suffer erosion are being replenished by a government-sponsored
program, which restores shores to their pre-hurricane beauty. Some
coral reef dives are off-limits, as their natural recovery is in
process, yet other dive spots have revealed hidden caves that will
appeal to adventure seekers.
Last November, cruise ships returned to Cozumel, docking offshore
and ferrying in passengers, as the docks required extensive renovation
and are scheduled to be rebuilt by summer. By May, Cozumel hotels and
beaches are expected to be 100% fully recovered.
Travelocity’s research team is keeping abreast of the Yucatan
region’s capacity to host travelers and is continuing to post updates
at www.travelocity.com/realmexico and for more poll information visit
Travelocity Support of the Yucatan Recovery
In addition to posting updated information for travelers,
Travelocity also is offering several promotions across its product
lines to encourage travel to the region and assist in the recovery
effort. Cash back on TotalTrip(SM) packages booked with a
MasterCard(R) card, significant discounts on Last Minute Packages and
cash donations to the Mexico Red Cross are just a few of the
incentives being offered to customers who book trips to the region
before March 15, 2006.
“We’re happy to assist in the recovery efforts of the Yucatan
region and to offer ways for our customers to become involved as
well,” said Tracey Weber, chief operating officer of Travelocity.
“Booking a trip to the region is a perfect way to enjoy a fantastic
vacation while simultaneously helping in the recovery effort by
supporting the tourism industry which is so vital to the economy of
-- To support future relief efforts, Travelocity, in conjunction with MasterCard International, announced that it will make a donation to the Red Cross International Response Fund; -- Receive the fourth night free when booking hotel packages and TotalTrip Packages to qualifying hotels in Cancun and the Riviera Maya (restrictions apply, see www.travelocity.com/mexico for more information); -- Receive $100 off four-night or longer TotalTrip Packages to Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Riviera Maya, and Cabo San Lucas when booking with a MasterCard card (restrictions apply, see www.travelocity.com/mexico for more information); -- Receive $50 off Last Minute Packages of $500 or more to the Yucatan region (restrictions apply, see www.travelocity.com/mexico50 for more information) -- Site59, Travelocity's sister company, is offering a tiered discount ($59 off $500+ packages, $100 off $900+ packages) to Cancun, Cozumel, and Riviera Maya beginning Feb. 15, 2006 (restrictions apply, see www.site59.com for more information) Survey Methodology -- Purpose: To gauge reactions of travelers who have been to the Yucatan area in Mexico since Hurricane Wilma -- A promotional code was given as an incentive to take the survey - $25 off a Travelocity GoodBuy Hotel, TotalTrip or Last Minute Package -- Data collection dates: Jan. 25-30, 2006 -- Solicited 6,060 Travelocity members' participation via email -- Solicited members who booked a trip to the Yucatan region in the last 3 months (post-Hurricane Wilma) -- 632 responses received (Response rate: approx. 10%), 321 responses used for analysis (respondents who actually traveled to the Yucatan region recently) -- Margin of error: n= approx. 300: +/- 5% at the 95% confidence interval About Travelocity
Travelocity is committed to being the traveler’s champion –
before, during and after the trip and guarantees everything about a
customer’s booking will be right. If it’s not, Travelocity will work
with its partners to make it right, right away. This customer-driven
focus, backed by live 24/7 phone support, great prices and powerful
shopping technology has made Travelocity the fifth largest travel
agency in the U.S. – booking $7.4 billion in travel worldwide in 2005.
Based in Southlake, Texas, Travelocity also owns and operates
Travelocity Business(SM) and GetThere for corporate travelers,
lastminute.com, a leader in European online travel and ZUJI, a leader
in Asia-Pacific online travel. Travelocity is owned by Sabre Holdings
Corporation (NYSE: TSG), a world leader in travel commerce.
CONTACT: Vollmer PR Alyson Briggs, 972-488-4790 firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrea Collins, 212-715-2222 email@example.com SOURCE: Travelocity