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 April 23, 2002
Isla Cozumel Announces Record Number Visitors, Island Enhancements

 Isla Cozumel, the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean, announces during the 27th annual Tianguis Turistico (Mexico?s largest travel trade show) that a record number of 1.9 million cruise passengers are estimated to arrive in 2002, coinciding with a number of island enhancements.

In May 2002, Cozumel becomes one of the world?s most popular ports of call with the addition of Disney Cruise Line, the ninth major cruise line with Cozumel on its itinerary. Also to be completed in 2002 is a $14 million renovation to the international airport, now serving non-stop U.S. flights to and from Houston, Texas, Newark, New Jersey and Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as a variety of charter flights. The airport?s refurbishment to the international terminal includes heightened security measures, upscale waiting lounge, retail shops and food court.

?Isla Cozumel is committed to providing visitors with a comprehensive vacation destination, including not only some the world?s best scuba diving and snorkeling but also championship golf, upscale shopping and entertainment and high-quality accommodations? said Gaston Cantarell Diaz, president of the Isla Cozumel Hotel Association and private sector representative for the tourism foundation. ?We are thrilled the rest of the world is discovering the unique personality and authentic Mexican charm that envelopes Isla Cozumel.?

Cozumel Country Club, an 18-hole part 72 Nicklaus-designed golf course that opened in fall 2001, has already experienced overwhelming success as the island?s first course with more than 6,000 rounds played during the first five months in operation. The championship course has also hosted its first Pro Am Tournament, April 8-12, with over 50 international participants.

Opening in summer 2002, Cozumel?s newest hotel, Occidental Grand Cozumel, will feature 250 guestrooms, three restaurants, two swimming pools and a Jacuzzi. The all-inclusive beachfront hotel will be situated on the south end of the island. In Cozumel?s downtown district, shopping and entertainment complex Punta Langosta, featuring popular dining such as Carlosín Charlies and T.G.I Friday?s and upscale retail shops, is operating at full capacity and experiencing great success since its Dec. 15, 2001 opening.

Named "Cuzamil" by the Maya who inhabited it more than 2,000 years ago, Isla Cozumel or "land of the swallows" is located in the state of Quintana Roo, east of the Yucatan Peninsula. Cozumel, approximately 30 miles long and 10 miles wide, has an international snorkeling and diving reputation with the world's second-largest reef network featuring limestone caves, tunnels and rare black coral. Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park, a protected 30,000-acre national area covering 85 percent of the island?s dive sites and embracing the southern section of Cozumel, was created in 1996 for the purpose of conserving, monitoring and researching the reef formation and its natural habitat.