New Flights to Austin and Denver

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Austin-Texas

Mexico tourism is coming back and the race is on to add flights to select cities and add hotels to accommodate the tourists.

Aeroméxico to Austin

Austin has long been overlooked as far as flights have been concerned. Up until now, citizens of Austin and surrounding areas have had to travel to San Antonio to catch a direct flight, or connect in Dallas or Houston to catch a flight to Mexico, all of which add hours and cost to a trip to Mexico.

It is amazing that the airlines have not yet surmised that the citizens of Austin would consider Mexico as a destination

Austin is the 11th-most populated city in the U.S and the 4th-most populated city in Texas. It is the fastest growing of the 50 largest US cities and the second largest capital city after Phoenix, Arizona. It is cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 2,010,860 as of June 1, 2016. There is a 35.1% Hispanic or Latino population, of which 29.1% is Mexican, in the city proper, with a much higher percentage outside of the city.

The median income for a family in Austin is $54,091. The median value of a house in Austin, in which the owner occupies it, was $227,800 in 2014, which is higher than the average USA home value of $175,700.

Now, Aeroméxico and Volaris have announced new non-stop services between Mexico and the United States, linking Mexico City with Austin, Texas, and Monterrey with Denver, Colorado.

Aeroméxico will fly four times a week between the Mexico capital and Austin starting November 17, 2016, using a 76-seat Embraer aircraft. Austin will become the 17th U.S. destination for the airline, Mexico’s largest.

Volaris to Denver

The low-cost carrier Volaris will add year-round service between Monterrey and Denver on December 1, 2016, with flights operating Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Denver International Airport said more than 11,000 passengers traveled between the Colorado city and Monterrey in 2015, a 65% increase over 2014.

Intercontinental Adds 23 New Hotels

In other travel news, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed contracts for 23 additional hotels in Mexico by 2018, representing an investment of US $230 million.

The company’s vice-president of brands and marketing in Mexico, Gerardo Murray, said the decision to expand was based on favorable conditions in Mexico, particularly in the north-central Bajío region.

The expansion will raise IHG’s stake in Mexico to 155 hotels with a total of 23,708 rooms.

Murray said the company sees room for growth in areas where the economy is strong, such as the Bajío with its automotive and aerospace industries, which means growth in business travel.

IHG operates 11 brands in Mexico, including Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo and StayBridge.

Starwood to Add More Properties

Also bullish about conditions in Mexico is Starwood Hotels and Resorts. The operator of brands such as The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, W Hotels, Sheraton, Westin and Aloft expects to add 10 to 15 new properties over the next five years.

“We see economic stability [and] the promise of sustainable and solid growth . . .” said Jean-Marc Janod, vice-president of operations for Latin America. The brands with the best prospects, he said, are Aloft and W Hotels.

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G. William Hood is a writer, fine arts painter, educator and world traveler. He lives in Cuernavaca with his pet cockatiel, Pepe.