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Operators resume Mexico programmes

Tour operators are relaunching their Mexico programmes after pulling them over swine flu concerns.

TUI Travel brands Thomson and First Choice Holidays are reinstating their suspended programmes, following the Foreign Office’s decision to lift its advisory against all but essential travel to the country due to the outbreak of the disease.

A spokesman for the two brands said although it was not possible to confirm the exact date the operations will resume, it is hoped this will be in “the very near future”.

The businesses are applying normal booking conditions from May 28. However, before TUI Travel can reintroduce the programmes, it must confirm when some hotels will reopen. Many closed due to lack of guests. Checks will also be made to ensure resorts are up to standard, while customers will also be advised of any changes to their bookings prior to their departure.

The FCO advice had led to Thomson and First Choice extending the cancellation of all outbound flights to Cancun and Cozumel until May 22, following an initial announcement in April.

Customers were offered the chance to fly home early from Mexico. Those who opted to stay had all returned by May 11.

One independent tour operator is reporting renewed interest from customers about the destination.

Sunvil Traveller director Lloyd Boutcher said: “Booking now for a holiday in October is perfectly normal for long-haul travel, and this is exactly what has happened over the past few days for travel to Mexico.

“This positive development reflects the situation in Mexico, where businesses, schools, cinemas and restaurants have reopened and many of the tourist attractions are operating normally.”

For more information go to www.travelweekly.co.uk/swineflu.

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