TORONTO — WestJet’s inaugural flight to Merida, Yucatan, which launches today from Toronto, is being hailed as a major milestone between Canada and Mexico by Rolando Zapata Bello, Governor of Yucatan State.
The weekly nonstop service is set to “strengthen relations between the two countries, and open new opportunities for tourism and business,” he said during a press briefing in Toronto. Merida, the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Yucatan, is situated on Mexico’s southeastern coast and is considered a major cultural destination with deep Mayan roots.
According to David Cecco, Director of Product for WestJet Vacations, the inaugural flight was upgraded to a 737-800 after the 700 quickly sold out. Cecco confirms that service will continue to be on an 800 featuring 168 seats, 38 more seats than a 700 aircraft.
Demand is obviously there. According to Zapata Bello, the number of overnight tourists in Yucatan has increased by almost 21% in the last three years, while 95 new hotels helped the region reach 12,427 rooms. Since 2012, the number of international routes to Yucatan has doubled; even more, over 2,000 Canadians currently call the state home.
“Canada has always been a part of our innovation and modernization. It has had a direct influence on our trade, culture and investment,” he said. “In fact, Canada is the second country to fly tourists to Mexico, so our countries have enjoyed a long and prosperous relationship.”
To coincide with the new service, WestJet Vacations is offering all-inclusive stays on the beach that also include city tours. “We want to ensure that no one leaves Merida without experiencing its culture,” added Cecco, who also noted that the company has a deal in place that will include low golf cart rates with every departure in April. For more information visit westjet.com.