CANCUN CVB HAILS NEW FLORIDA-YUCATAN FERRY AS CATALYST FOR TOURISM AND TRADE

CANCUN CVB HAILS NEW FLORIDA-YUCATAN FERRY AS CATALYST FOR TOURISM AND TRADE



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CANCUN, Mexico–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 22, 2002–A new ferry service from Tampa, Florida, is set to sail to Cancun and Merida in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, and the Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is welcoming the launch with open arms. Dubbed the Yucatan Express and operated by Scotia Prince Cruises Inc., the luxury cruise ferry, M/S Scotia Prince, will begin sailing a new 36-hour Tampa-to-Puerto Morelos, Cancun route twice a week starting November 22, 2002, through May 2003.

For tourists, the long-awaited ferry service will offer fine dining and Las Vegas-style gambling, as well as a variety of flexible vacation packages – including cruise and drive plans for travelers who want to bring their own vehicles. Seven-day cruise-hotel round trip getaways start from $229, while 11- and 14-day packages range from $359 and $469, respectively. The lowest roundtrip fares for the ferry’s nonstop “Back2Back Fun Cruise” run from $75 for an economy room to $650 for a luxury suite.

“The geography of the Yucatan seems to beckon travel by sea, and the Cancun CVB is very excited about this latest alternative for travelers seeking to enjoy the wonders of Cancun on a budget,” said Miguel Borge Martin, executive director of the Cancun CVB. “The launch of the Yucatan Express could not be timed more perfectly. The extraordinary vacation packages – with affordable rates – currently being offered by Cancun’s fabulous hotels and resorts are sure to be a hit with ferry travelers this fall.”

The launch of the Yucatan Express coincides with Cancun’s Come-n-Stay Million-Dollar Giveaway promotion, during which most Cancun restaurants, boutiques, car rental companies, shops, and almost every service provider, will celebrate Cancun’s 30-something birthday by offering discounts of at least 30 percent on all products and services through January 31, 2003. The centerpiece of this five-year, multi-million-dollar campaign will be an annual million-dollar raffle for guests who enjoy a minimum of three nights at any of Cancun’s fabulous hotels and resorts this fall.

The ferry also provides a much-needed cargo route for trade between the United States and Mexico. Mexico buys $240 billion in U.S. goods each year, making it the nation’s second-largest trading partner, and Florida accounts for $1.1 billion of those exports. In addition, trade between Tampa and Mexico has increased by 47 percent since 1999, and currently exceeds 2 million tons of goods a year.

Scotia Prince Cruises will support the launch of the Yucatan Express with a six-month, million-dollar marketing and advertising campaign consisting mainly of print and direct mail executions, as well as incentive packages for travel agents.

About Cancun

A Mecca for travelers from all walks of life, with treasures for every taste, Cancun combines rich traditions and legends of the past with the luxury and comforts of the present – in the heart of an ancient and mysterious Mayan world. With 27,000 first-class hotel rooms, and a host of attractions from adventure, romance and golf, to spa, dining and shopping, Cancun is the Million Dollar Getaway. The Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau invites visitors to experience the warm hospitality and natural wonders of Cancun. For further information, visit http://www.cancun.info .

To learn more about the Yucatan Express or make reservations, travelers may call 866-466-3935 or visit http://www.yucatanexpress.com.

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CONTACT:

Edelman, Miami

Lourdes de la Torriente, 305/358-9500, ext 3742

or

Cancun CVB

Ana Mari Irabien, 011-52-998-884-6531

CANCUN CVB HAILS NEW FLORIDA-YUCATAN FERRY AS CATALYST FOR TOURISM AND TRADE