UPDATE 2-Mexico kicks off Riviera Maya airport development

* New airport in Tulum

* Will serve tourists from U.S., Europe
(Rewrites, adds background, details from statement)

MEXICO CITY, May 11 (BestGrowthStock) – Mexico will begin to accept
bids in mid-November for the construction and operation of a
new airport south of the tourist hot spot of Cancun on the
Caribbean, the government said on Tuesday.

The international airport will be located in the state of
Quintana Roo, in the former fishing town of Tulum, which
attracts thousands of visitors from Europe and the United
States every year to its white sand beaches, Maya ruins and
pristine waters.

Airport operators like Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste
(ASURB.MX: ) (PAC.N: ) and Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte
(OMAB.MX: ) have said they would keep an eye open for any new
tenders in Mexico.

The long-delayed airport project is expected to receive 3
million tourists on its third year of operation, the
communications and transportation ministry said in a
statement.

Development of the new airport had been put on hold for
many years due to red tape and a complex bidding process.

“Among other benefits, the new airport will reduce travel
time from Cancun or Cozumel to other destinations in the Mayan
Riviera as well as encouraging diversification of the tourist
industry,” the government said.

Mexico’s airline and tourism industry were hit hard last
year by a swine flu epidemic that scared away many
international visitors, leading to steep losses for carriers,
hotels and airport operators alike.

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(Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz and Patrick Rucker, editing
by Gerald E. McCormick)

UPDATE 2-Mexico kicks off Riviera Maya airport development