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CANCUN'S BEACH RESTORATION STARTS.  Round the clock work will replace sand by April 30.

CANCUN, February 8, 2006 — This week Mexico Tourism Secretary Rodolfo Elizondo kicked off the start of the 24 hour per day, seven day a week dredging that will restore Cancun's beaches by April 30. The end result will be beaches of an average size of 27 yards along the 7.5 mile stretch from Punta Cancun south to Punta Nizuc.

Funded by a government investment of approximately US$20.77 million, the project will restore 11 thousand cubic yards of sand every hour. Jan De Nul, a global leader providing dredging, stone placement, filling and salvage services, will carry out the restoration efforts.

“Our aaggressive beach restoration efforts are consistent with the proactive response to the opportunity afforded by Wilma by federal and local government and private entities. Our efforts ensure that Cancun will soon be even better than before,” said Elizondo.

The state of Quintana Roo, which boasts the resort areas of Cancun, Cozumel and the Riviera Maya, the state's world-class tourism destinations, made impressive strides towards normalcy and were welcoming and attending tourists a few days after the late October storm.

So popular is the Mexican Caribbean with international travelers that Wilma's passing made only a slight dent in arrivals. Tourism to Cancun is expected to drop to only 6.7 percent by the end of 2005 in comparison to 2004, when 3.5 million people visited the Caribbean city, according to the Cancun Visitors and Conventions Bureau.

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