This year, MLT inked a deal to manage and operate Continental Airlines Vacations.
MLT sees Mexico as weathering tourism downturn
MLT Vacations celebrates
its 20th anniversary operating the NWA WorldVacations brand this year,
the company is bullish about the
resilience of the Mexico market in
the face of the economic downturn
in the U.S. The NWA WorldVacations brand recently expanded its
offerings to Mexico, thanks to increased access to SkyTeam carrier
flights and new service south of
the border on Northwest.
MLT, which also operates Worry-Free
Vacations, is on the verge of expanding
its portfolio to include yet another brand:
Continental Airlines Vacations. This year,
MLT inked a deal with Continental Airlines
to manage and operate all aspects of the
airline’s tour unit, effective Jan. 1, 2009.
Elizabeth Moriarty, vice president of
product development at MLT Vacations,
MLT will add Mexico
destinations such as
Oaxaca, pictured, to its
roster when it begins
Airlines Vacations packages in January.
spoke with Travel Weekly contributing
editor Mark Chesnut about Mexico travel
trends and the company’s latest news.
Travel Weekly: How has business been
so far this year? Any negative effects from
the U. S. economy?
Moriarty: We have seen double-digit
growth to Mexico, and the outlook for 2009
is looking just as strong. Despite the weakening U.S. economy, we are very pleased
with how resilient business to Mexico has
been for us, even though other popular leisure destinations are experiencing softness.
TW: How would you describe the evo-
lution of Mexico as a travel destination in
the past 10 or 20 years?
Moriarty: Mexico has become a mature
destination over the past decade, thanks to
improvements to its infrastructure and the
development of luxury resorts, well-known
hotel brands and world-class golf courses.
Travelers, especially from the Midwest, are
looking for warm weather, excellent hotel
accommodations, good beaches, and they
want access to convenient air service and
competitive vacation package prices, all of
which Mexico is able to offer.
All-inclusive hotels are very popular with
our customers because of the tremendous
quality and value they offer. Also growing
in popularity is Riviera Nayarit, which is
just a 10-minute drive north of Puerto Vallarta. Riviera Nayarit has unspoiled beaches,
world-class hotels and a wide array of tours
and activities for travelers to enjoy.
Another growing trend to watch for is
the luxury, honeymoon and wedding market segment. We believe with the introduction of NWA WorldVacations Lifestyle Collection, MLT is well-positioned to capture
and grow these market segments.
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