Recent Visitors Say Yucatan is Making Great Recovery and Recommend Travel to Region; Travelocity Offers Promotions, Including Contribution to Red Cross International Response Fund Recovery Effort on Behalf of Customers

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:

Mayan Riviera:

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 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 the region.”

    --  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 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 for more information);

    --  Receive $50 off Last Minute Packages of $500 or more to the
        Yucatan region (restrictions apply, see 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 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

        --  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

    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,, 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
             Andrea Collins, 212-715-2222

    SOURCE: Travelocity