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Cancun And The Riviera Maya Are The Most Popular Destinations In Mexico For Americans This Winter

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Cancun and the Riviera Maya are by far the most sought-after destinations by Americans in Mexico this winter, according to Expedia, an online travel shopping company. The Mexican Caribbean’s sun-soaked resort towns have for long been the top international destinations for North Americans, who choose the region for its stellar beaches and unmatched availability of all-inclusive hotels.

Riviera Maya beach

The online travel agency giant Expedia has revealed that Cancun and the Riviera Maya are the most popular destinations in Mexico this winter for American visitors. The two locations make up a whopping two-thirds of all online searches for Mexican destinations, beating other heavyweights like Mexico City and Los Cabos.

This isn’t the first time the Mexican Caribbean has come out on top in similar rankings. In a study of the most popular global destinations, Allianz, an international travel insurance corporation, placed Cancun as the highest-ranking city on travelers’ radars. Recently published travel statistics by local tourism officials also pinpoint a sharp rise in flights from the U.S. to Cancun International Airport. 

Cancun hotels

As temperatures slowly begin dropping across North America, tourists are starting to plan their next holidays in the year-long warmth of the tropics. Cancun remains the most sought-after international destination for Americans, who choose the sunny location for its excellent prices, good aerial connections, and unique cultural and historical treasures. 

Expedia found that aside from Cancun, the undisputed tourism leader of the Mexican Caribbean, the Riviera Maya was also a highly popular choice. The Riviera Maya encompasses a long stretch of the Mexican Caribbean coastline and includes resort hotspots like Playa del Carmen and Tulum. 

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Tulum beach and ruins

Altogether, Cancun and the Riviera Maya account for up to two-thirds of all online searches for winter destinations in Mexico. The top two are followed by Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, CDMX, and Baja California. However, those destinations are struggling to beat the ever-lasting allure of Cancun and the Riviera Maya, which have become classics among North American tourists.

cancun airport

Expedia’s conclusion of Cancun as the top winter destination in Mexico coincides with a record amount of passenger traffic in Mexican Caribbean airports. Moreover, according to Expedia, Americans make up nearly 75% of all online searches for Mexico this year, confirming the U.S.’ long-lasting position as the leading market for inbound tourism.  

Meanwhile, Canada remains the second-largest market for the region, and analysts expect a sharp increase in departures following the removal of the country’s stringent COVID entry restrictions in October. With up to 27 non-stop flights from Canada to Cancun, a new record, travelers from the northern country will have plenty of options to head down to the sunny south. Overall, projections show a 115% annual increase in Canadian travelers.

Quintana Roo beach

According to data published by migration officials in Mexico, more than 8.9 million Americans traveled to Mexico in the first 9 months of the year. Of that number, more than 3.8 million walked through the busy gates of Cancun International Airport, beating the 1.2 million that transited through Mexico City’s airport. 

Cancun Airport

With more flights available – including to Cozumel, a pristine resort island known for excellent diving opportunities – officials are estimating a 20% increase in American travel figures compared to 2019. Demand is spiking, and so are hotel and flight prices, which are forecast to rise in comparison to previous years. 

Mexican Caribbean sunset

Expedia also says that travelers are increasingly opting to book their holiday earlier than in previous years. In 2022, visitors are booking hotels and flights up to six months before departure, and many experts say that’s a good idea. Early bookings can help travelers lock in prices and take advantage of the U.S. dollar’s strong purchasing power compared to other global currencies. 

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