Friday, May 29, 2009

New ID rules for those returning to U.S. start Monday
Come Monday, you better pack your passport for that weekend cruise to Cancun or that quick shopping trip across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Gone are the days when you could just declare your U.S. citizenship and breeze through U.S. Customs at the nation’s land and sea ports. Even your Texas driver’s license and a birth certificate won’t get you home these days — at least not without some extra questioning from U.S. border inspectors.

After years of delays, the U.S. government on Monday will start requiring U.S. citizens returning home from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda to show their U.S. passport — or one of five other forms of secure ID — at land borders and sea ports.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Complete Guide To: Mexican Shores
Cancún, where the majority of British visitors to Mexico arrive on charter flights from the UK, mainly operated as part of packages offered by Thomson (0871 231 4691; ) and Thomas Cook (0844 412 5970; ). The airport is about 15 miles south of the town of Cancún, but the name also refers to the 12-mile island stretching down the coast a short way offshore. The sand is made up of powdered fossils that don't retain the heat and stay cool throughout the day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mexico flights reinstated as swine flu fears recede
FLIGHTS to Mexico are being re-instated from the North-East's biggest airport.

Newcastle International Airport's flight programme to the resort of Cancun will re-commence on Monday after a three-week cancellation due to fears over the swine flu outbreak.

An airport spokeswoman said the decision to reinstate the Cancun flights, through tour operator Thomson, was made following the latest advice from the Foreign and Cmmonwealth Office (FCO).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mexican Deals Try to Win Back Flu-Weary Tourists -
THERE may be no better time to visit Mexico than now. It’s been about a month since swine flu scares sent tourists fleeing, but with new cases of the H1N1 virus on the wane, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted its ban on nonessential travel to Mexico on May 15. Museums, restaurants and historic sites are largely back in business. And resorts from Los Cabos to Cancún, which saw occupancy plummet by more than 50 percent at the end of April and the beginning of May, are beckoning with discounts of up to 70 percent.

Monday, May 18, 2009

New passport regulations: Everything you need to know
The days of merely flashing your driver’s license (and your tan) to get back into the country from Cancún or the Caribbean is coming to an end.

On June 1, the U.S. government will finally put the full requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) into effect, which in theory should strengthen the borders between Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, the Caribbean region and the U.S.

The ins and outs for travelers who don’t hold a passport are manifold, but the easiest solution to navigating the bureaucracy can be summed up in three magic words: Get. Your. Passport.
Foreign Office lifts Mexico ban |
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office this evening lifted its advisory against all but essential travel to Mexico, meaning that tour operators can resume outbound holidays to the country.

The FCO said: "Following a decline in the number of reported new swine influenza cases in Mexico since its peak on 26 April, we no longer advise against all but essential travel."
Carnival Cruise Lines to resume visits to Mexico this month - Los Angeles Times
Carnival Cruise Lines, the world's largest cruise line operator, announced Friday that it would resume visits to Mexican ports later this month.

The decision came after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it would no longer recommend that Americans avoid nonessential travel to the country because of the swine flu outbreak.
CDC downgrades Mexico travel warning -
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped their recommendation Friday that U.S. travelers avoid Mexico because of the flu outbreak. The Travel Health Warning recommending against non-essential travel to Mexico, which went into effect April 27, is "downgraded to a Travel Health Precaution for Mexico," the health agency said Friday in a bulletin on its website.
The update adds that "there is evidence that the Mexican outbreak (of the H1N1 virus infection) is slowing down in many cities, though not all. In addition, the United States and other countries are now seeing increasing numbers of cases not associated with travel to Mexico. Finally, the risk of severe disease from novel H1N1 virus infection now appears to be less than originally thought."

Friday, May 15, 2009

As Mexico Rebounds, Sales Abound
Mexican authorities say that resort destinations, including Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Mazatlan, Zihuatanejo, and Cozumel, are H1N1 (swine) flu free. And it looks like there has only been one case reported in Cancun. This is according to an L.A. Times story about what the Mexican government is doing in an attempt to restart tourism.

It's not just the Mexican government encouraging summer visitors. Apple Vacations has announced its "biggest-ever" Mexico air-and-hotel package sale, with prices up to 70 percent off for summer and fall trips. Per person, per night rates start at $70 per night for airfare and all-inclusive accommodations.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

AFP: Mexico hotels offer flu-free guarantee
CANCUN, Mexico (AFP) — Hotels on Mexico's Caribbean coast on Tuesday offered free vacations for three years to any tourist catching swine flu while on holiday there, in a bid to counter swine flu's blow to the industry.

The A(H1N1) outbreak in Mexico, from which 58 have died, has sparked mass cancelations of tourist bookings to one of the world's top tourist destinations.

"The 'flu-free guarantee' assures three years of free holidays to travelers who present flu symptoms eight days after returning from their trip," said Fernando Garcia, director of one of the participating hotel groups.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Honeymoons have beach to themselves in Cancun
If there was a panic about the swine flu outbreak in Mexico, Corbin Ouwendyk didn’t notice.

In Cancun recently for a honeymoon trip with his wife Julia, Ouwendyk said the only real visible sign of the flu was the occasional cab or bus driver wearing a surgical mask.

“Otherwise we didn’t notice it,” the St. Catharines man said Monday, a few days after his return. “We didn’t see people that were sick, or even hear people complaining about it. What we did notice is that there were not that many (tourists) there.”