HOUSTON-Mexico tourism has taken a big hit lately, but the travel deals have gotten so cheap that some vacationers are heading back south of the border.
"If you go to sites like these online travel agencies, you will find deals that range between $500 up to $900," said Martin Gonzalez, Regional Director of Tourism for the Mexican Consulate. The price depends on the resort you choose.
The prices Gonzalez mentioned and those we saw online include airfare, lodging at a beach resort and food, all-inclusive for a four-night stay. Mexican tourism officials hope the bargains will counter three big public relations problems: fears about drug violence, swine flu and the economy.
"The violence in Mexico is very located. There are some, let's say, hot cities in which you will find problems related to drug trafficking," said Gonzalez.
But those violent hot spots, he said, are far from the resorts. Also, this week resort representatives came here to Houston to encourage travel agents to spread the word that 50 days have passed without a new swine flu case in Mexico.
Their PR campaign seems to be working, because Houston travel agents tell us more trips to Mexico are being booked. And people who go love the fact that crowds are thinner than normal.
The bargain prices are expected to continue for weeks, at least until the fall.