This week, Cancun, Playacar and Akumal were found to have some of the highest tourist occupancy rates in the whole of Mexico from January to July of this year. This discovery came after Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, Miguel Torruco Marques, announced that 70 selected tourist destinations throughout the country had exceeded the previous tourist occupancy rates from 2019 by 18.9%, according to the Ministry of Tourism’s Hotel Monitoring study.
Beachside locations reported an average occupancy rate of 66.3% – a decent figure given the rise of invasive sargassum seaweed arriving on the Mexican-Caribbean shores this year. This figure represents an increase of 22 percentage points, as the average occupancy rate for beachside towns was only 44.3% in 2021. In total, hotels and Airbnb-style accommodations situated by the coast registered over 21.6 million tourists between January and July, clearly showing that tourists are in need of sun, sand and surf all year long.
Lower occupancy rates of 40.5% were found in inner-city locations with poor transport connections and a lack of tourist attractions. However, this still represents an increase of 16.2 percentage points from the 29.7% occupancy rate found in these areas last year.
During a press conference discussing the findings of the study, Marques stated that Playacar lead with the highest occupancy rate of 80% in the first seven months of 2022. This gated community is always popular with foreign tourists, due to its amazing all-inclusive resorts, multiple golf courses, stylish villas and Mayan ruins.
Whilst the western coastal paradise of Cabo San Lucas beat other locations in the state of Quintana Roo for the second highest occupancy rate, Akumal came in third with an average of 77.3%, with Cancun coming in fourth at 77%.
Whilst it may not be as well known as Playa del Carmen or Cancun, Akumal has certainly made a name for itself in recent years: the town is filled with multiple opportunities to explore the wonderful natural attractions of the Mexican-Caribbean, from the jade-green Yal-ku Lagoon, to the turtle population living on its shores.
Cancun, on the other hand, has been world-renowned as a tourist hotspot for decades: there is no shortage of any tourist attraction, from delectable restaurants, stunning Mayan culture and artisanal shops, to an endless array of clubs and bars. Not to mention the multiple all-inclusives that are just a stone’s throw away from some of the most idyllic beaches in the world.
Cancun has become so popular that it was even named the ‘second most visited destination worldwide’ this year by travel consultancy agency, Forward Keys. This achievement is especially impressive considering that Cancun is not just the second most visited destination in Mexico alone, but is actually the second most popular destination visited worldwide, beating the likes of London, New York or Paris.
The study also found that, within the 70 locations examined in the study, 45.6 million tourists were projected to have visited Mexico on vacation. Whilst 33.2 million of these were national tourists, 12.4 million foreign tourists also visited Mexico. This confirms how the tourism industry in Mexico (and the Mexican-Caribbean, especially) has regained its popularity after being affected by harsh Covid-19 travel restrictions.
The Secretary of Tourism also reported that the average annual hotel occupancy rate this year is estimated to be 56%. This is a 14.7% increase from 2021’s average annual occupancy rate of 41.3%, confirming that the Mexican-Caribbean has a stronghold on Mexico’s tourism industry. In light of these statistics, tourism in the Mexican-Caribbean is set to be equally strong during the upcoming winter season.
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