Enjoying unforgettable days continues to be the sport of choice for tourists traveling to the Caribbean. The opening of the leisure industry to its cultural, heritage and historic wealth has been setting the tone for the region in recent years and has chipped in a formidable contribution to the enhancement of its array of offerings and the advance of such other modalities as meeting, incentive, congress and event tourism. The ever-growing effort of some of the countries’ governments to offer and showcase their destinations with segments other than sun and beach has begun to pay off more clearly. For an increasingly larger amount of visitors, the fact of the matter is not solely to put flight hours under their belts, but also to plunge into the Caribbean relaxation. The common denominator is the appreciation for those new lodgings and offerings that pop up outside the traditional choices, the emergence of combined travel destinations, culture-oriented offers, greater participation and far more contact with the autochthonous present and the local traditions. As to the rest, there are only advantages that put both tour operators and their customers in an unmatched framework –something worth stealing a good look at. Quite recently, for instance, the World Travel Awards praised Cancun as the “Best Beach Destination in Central America and the Caribbean” during the 15th edition of these prizes that came into being to recognize the most outstanding elements of world travel. The Excelencias Group also gave that same Mexican destination the Excellence Travel Award a couple of years ago for being the place that more achievements had attained in the recovery efforts following the aftermath of a hurricane that had wreaked havoc with it. They not only staged a spectacular comeback, but they also stepped up the quality of their hotel and tourist infrastructure. These recognitions were also made possible because a few years ago Mexican authorities launched what it was called the Mayan Route or Riviera, an endeavor that brought on the addition of related allures to the location’s excellent beaches, the possibility of visiting ceremonial or historic sites, ruins of that ancient civilization, natural pathways and important landmarks in Chetumal, Merida, Valladolid, Campeche and San Cristobal de las Casas. Another effort worth mentioning here is the one pulled off by the Altournative company with the Mayan population in the region as it has helped them try their hand at tourism by displaying their traditions and protecting their natural environment. In sync with this strategy, the Excelencias Group —owner of this magazine— is now unveiling a travel agency, Excelencias Travel (www.excelenciastravel.com) with both brick-and-mortar and online stores in different European and Latin American nations. People interested in taking a firsthand glimpse at this beautiful region count now on very special programs offered by Excelencias Travel, all of them targeting the promotion and presentation of this singular travel destination.

José Carlos de Santiago