Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean were the most popular destinations in Mexico for American travelers this summer. With travel restrictions a thing of the past, international travel has seen a strong rebound, as millions of U.S tourists flocked to enjoy some of the world’s top beaches and all-inclusive resorts. As the summer season slowly grinds to a halt, tourists are already booking their fall and winter vacations in Cancun, and hotel occupancy is forecast to remain high.
The summer season has been exceptionally strong this year, with some days in July and August seeing over 400,000 tourists daily vacationing in the Mexican Caribbean and the state of Quintana Roo. The United States continues to be by far the most important market for inbound tourism, representing up to 70% of all visitors in the area over the summer. With well over three million U.S tourists vacationing in Cancun so far this year, especially over the summer, the area is experiencing a record-setting year for tourism.
Cancun managed to beat several other popular Mexican destinations, including Los Cabos, Vallarta, and Mexico City. According to Miguel Torruco Marqués, the federal secretary for tourism, out of the nearly 6 million international travelers who set foot in the Mexican Caribbean between January and July this year, most were American. Overall, Cancun Airport received 47% of all international inbound traffic to Mexico, highlighting the city’s continued importance to the national economy.
Out of the nearly 7 million U.S tourists that visited Mexico so far this year, 3.4 million chose to spend their holidays in Cancun. The impressive figures represent a 19% growth compared to 2019, the last year before pandemic-related restrictions put a halt to international travel, and a whopping 41% more than 2021. Canada is the second largest market for Cancun, with nearly a million choosing to vacation there over the summer.
Meanwhile, hotels have reported record-breaking hotel occupancy rates in several top resort destinations, including Isla Mujeres and Costa Mujeres, which have seen hotels nearly fully booked. As a result of the unprecedented travel demand, hotel fares have remained high throughout the season. Analysts are also forecasting Cancun’s popularity to continue well into the fall, meaning travelers can expect above-average prices even in the low season, which normally begins in late September.
The region’s excellent aerial connections mean that traveling to Cancun is easier than ever before. Cancun International Airport is the second best-connected airport in Mexico, and American travelers can fly there non-stop from 38 U.S cities. Meanwhile, travelers are also showing a growing interest in other Mexican Caribbean destinations, including the island of Cozumel, with Air Canada and American airlines announcing new routes there.
With the summer vacation season wrapping up, travelers have already begun planning their upcoming fall and winter holidays. Airlines have also responded to the growing year-round travel demand for the Mexican Caribbean, and have announced a flurry of new routes, including Air Canada and TUI. Tulum Airport is also seeing rapid progress and is expected to open sometime in 2023.
Compared to other regions in Mexico, Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean enjoy better safety, prompting travelers to book their holidays there. Cancun has also stepped up security measures over the summer to protect visitors, with reinforcements from the National Guard and Mexican Army deployed in the area.
In total, more than 4000 troops and armed law-enforcement personnel were deployed across the state, especially near touristy areas such as Cancun’s hotel zone and Playa del Carmen. Thanks to the improved security measures in recent months, the State Department has decided to keep Cancun at a level 2 travel advisory headed into the fall.
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