A luxury bus company opened Friday for business in Tucson, and its CEO says he wants to facilitate improved U.S.-Mexico relations.

Tap Royal LLC CEO Sergio Barragan Colina said Tucson was a natural location for the company because of the frequent travel that already occurs between the Old Pueblo and Sonora.

"The relationships transcend border," he said. "These are familial trips."

There will be four pickups and four returns daily from Tap Royal's terminal in the Placita del Rio Shopping Center, near Irvington Road and Interstate 19.

Trips from Tucson range from $25 to Hermosillo, Sonora, to about $200 to Mexico City, to $400-plus to Las Vegas. Las Vegas is a popular destination for Mexican tourists. It's more expensive to travel in the U.S., the company says.

The regional "luxury bus," which features two bathrooms, WiFi and electrical outlets in each row, goes as far south as Ciudad Obregon in Sonora. From there, travelers can transfer to another bus to continue south.

Mexican shoppers spend about $2 billion in Arizona each year - about half of that in Pima County.

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said facilitating tourism means more local jobs.

"I want to emphasize that the mayor and council are united in ensuring that we have good relations with Mexico," he said. "This new business will help increase needed tourism."

Located at 910 W. Irvington Road, suite 110-A, Tap Royal is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. For rates and schedules, call: 573-7033.

Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at grico@azstarnet.com or 573-4232.