Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
MAZATLAN — Sunwing is the biggest vacation provider for Canadians travelling to Mazatlan and Mexico is its second most popular destination. No wonder the travel company went all out to showcase this destination for more than 160 travel agents and trade media on its first ever Mazatlan mega fam.
Mazatlan may not be on the radar for every beach-bound client, but it will be soon, especially considering the full range of Sunwing experiences available in destination.
Some 161 of Sunwing’s top-selling agents from Toronto and Montreal flew to Mazatlan to check out the resorts, the attractions and, of course, the beaches, along with representatives from Sunwing, onboard Sunwing’s new Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane.
Sunwing is doing its part to provide opportunities for Canadian travellers to discover Mazatlan. Back in July the company announced brand new direct weekly flights to Mazatlan out of Montreal, operating on Tuesdays.
It’s the only direct flight to this destination from Montreal. The weekly service starts Dec. 18 and runs until April 16, and clients can take advantage of vacation packages too. With the new service Quebecers have access to direct flights to 27 sun destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico, Florida and Central America from Montreal this winter with Sunwing.
With the introduction of Sunwing’s new direct flight service from Montreal this coming winter, Sunwing will be offering Mazatlan from eight different airports coast to coast, says Andrew Dawson, Chief Operating Officer for Sunwing Travel Group.
Mazatlan is already a very stable draw from Western Canada, benefitting from proximity on the west coast.
Destination weddings in Mazatlan are also very popular for Sunwing, because it’s a relatively affordable destination, making it ideal for groups.
What sets Mazatlan apart as a destination from other Mexican hotspots? One differentiator is the people, and how nice and friendly they are in Mazatlan. It goes a long way and makes a huge difference in respect to having an ideal vacation experience.
Surprisingly, one niche that may especially enjoy Mazatlan is baseball fans, as the destination offers the opportunity for a unique baseball experience. Baseball is the most popular sport around these parts and Mazatlan, a city of approximately 650,000 people along the Pacific shoreline in the state of Sinaloa, has had its own Mexican Pacific League team – the Venados de Mazatlan – since 1945.
The 2005 and 2016 Caribbean Series champions opened their regular season this past Sunday, while the fam group was still in town, at a brand new 16,000-seat stadium. Understandably there was a crowd of locals buying team gear the night before at the Gran Plaza Mazatlan.
Sports enthusiasts may also be interested in the annual Great Pacific Marathon Mazatlan. The 20th edition runs Dec. 1 and 2. The Malecon (Seawall) de Mazatlan is currently undergoing a major rebuild and it’s looking as if the rebuild will be complete in time for the marathon. There’s even free WiFi at certain spots along the Malecon, as well as in some squares and other public places.
Culture lovers will adore Mazatlan too. The town is definitely worth exploring with history aplenty, plus there are many museums, galleries, cafés and even an opera house, and those on the Sunwing Mazatlan fam had the pleasure of attending a performance.
Visitors should also be sure to check out Machado Square in the evening where they will find locals socializing, having drinks and enjoying live entertainment.
Here’s what we heard from the locals: what sets Mazatlan apart in Mexico is that it’s a good, affordable destination that represents real Mexico and offers an authentic Mexican vacation, something that’s much in demand right now.
While in Mazatlan the fam group stayed at Riu Emerald Bay. The resort is one of many offered by Sunwing in the destination. Earlier this week Sunwing announced it will offer agents double STAR points on all new bookings to Mazatlan made from now until Oct. 23, for departures Nov. 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019.