Strong First Quarter Shows Popularity Of Beach Resort Town
Cancun Airport started the year in phenomenal fashion by welcoming 7 million airline passengers to Quintana Roo in the first quarter of 2022. The numbers mark a huge resurgence in the travel industry and have outpaced figures from before COVID.
According to the figures, the region has completed a full recovery of lost business and is now surpassing some pre-pandemic numbers. At its current pace, Cancun is more than 5% ahead of 2019 which is outstanding for the beach town. It’s estimated that 4.9 million of those are international travelers.
It’s also at the top of the most connected airports in the world now, with direct flights heading in all directions to bring beachgoers on their vacation.
The city could be adding another million this week alone. Easter was anticipated to bring in 1.2 million visitors to Quintana Roo, although it’s unclear how many of them were coming through the airport.
The numbers are even more impressive when considering that the first month and a half of the year were spent under varying degrees of restrictions. Although no bans have been put in place, hotels and restaurants were operating at reduced capacity. Many feared interest in the region would dull and that increasing COVID cases made it a risk too much, but those worries appear unfounded.
Now, after almost two months in the safe green zone on Mexico’s epidemiological traffic light system, the state is in full swing. The airport itself has had its own issues in recent months, mainly centering around understaffing issues. Although the issues were meant to have been solved over a year ago, passengers arriving in Cancun were spending as long as four hours waiting to be processed by immigration.
The government responded by transferring as many as one hundred new officers to the airport temporarily until the roles could be filled on a permanent basis. However, there are still regular reports of long waits.
Currently, Cancun services the majority of Quintana Roo. Any tourist visiting other destinations like Tulum will also be coming through the airport. These visitors are required to travel a further hour and a half at least for the moment. However, the addition of Tulum’s new airport in 2023 will change all that.
It’s unclear just how much it will affect Cancun with, in theory, fewer people coming through the airport. The counterargument is that Cancun will then have more capacity to take further flights for tourists hoping to stay in their town and not Tulum. Either way, Quintana Roo as a whole will be able to welcome more tourists going forward.
Fighting to keep a hold of the newfound COVID market will be a struggle, especially for those from Europe who are traveling as much as 11 hours by plane. As many major tourist spots in Europe reopen with fewer restrictions, the draw of a transatlantic flight will be much less appealing.
Still, the government is implementing as many initiatives as possible to ensure that visitors remain safe, enjoy themselves, and see Cancun as a world-class destination, and not just the only option during the pandemic.
Travelers flying into Cancun this week should prepare for a chaotic experience at the airport. Hopefully, there are no issues, but being prepared for it always helps. Contacting hotels, activity providers, and any restaurants is also a good idea to avoid any disappointment. With so many people visiting the region, excursions and bookings are likely to fill up quickly.
Checking in on the sargassum levels of different beaches is also a good idea so that visitors can plan their beach days as best as possible.
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