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Cancun Faces Competition As Caribbean Destinations Loosen Travel Restrictions

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Pressure Placed On Local Industry To Ensure Cancun Experience Is Exemplary 

Cancun and Quintana Roo are set to face an increase in competition as popular Caribbean destinations begin removing their COVID restrictions. The news could prompt tough decisions from potential tourists to the region.

Some of the most notable countries that are dropping regulations are the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and St Maarten. Although none are taking as relaxed an approach as Mexico has, the restrictions make them easily accessible to any vaccinated travelers.

Since the start of the pandemic, Mexico has set itself apart from the rest of the world by refusing to close its borders to anyone. Any travelers, vaccinated or otherwise, have been able to enter Mexico with no issues. The decision has allowed Cancun to skyrocket to the forefront of the global tourism industry. The town is currently one of the most sought-after destinations on the planet and it intends to hold onto that accolade.

cancun beach

However, with the rest of the world tentatively opening up and moving forward, Cancun needs to hold itself to an impeccable standard if it hopes to cling onto its newfound market. For two years, it was many travelers’ only option. Now, as similar destinations open nearby, tourists have multiple contenders vying for their business.

domican republic

Jamaica and the Dominican Republic in particular are tough competition. The Dominican Republic has removed the requirement for masks in public and has dropped quarantines and testing rules. These developments make the destination an extremely attractive option for many seeking the sun. 

Jamaica only requires a PCR test three days before arrival. It’s still a barrier, but nowhere near as restrictive as its previous rules. Its travel corridors within the country meant life was relatively normal once travelers arrived.

st maarten island

St Maarten has dropped testing requirements for vaccinated travelers, and only requires an antigen test as much as 24 hours before arrival, or a PCR test 3 days before. Operation hours have increased to 3 am on the island too.

jamaica

Developments like these put pressure on Mexico going forward to ensure that travelers venturing to Cancun are enjoying their stay as much as possible. The region has been trying to overcome several high-profile issues, ranging from infrastructure problems to an increase in violence. The government has been wrestling with each problem and developed responses to most of them, but it will never be an overnight solution.

cancun street

Quintana Roo’s decision to move into the green zone will help them considerably, as it means virtually every COVID restriction has been removed. But it doesn’t mean that other issues are now irrelevant. 

Situations like long wait times in the immigration lines at Cancun International Airport were supposed to have been solved a year ago, but recent weeks have seen tourists waiting hours just to get out of the airport. The government hired fifty new officers to help with the problem, so it is hoped that new arrivals will have a smoother process in the coming weeks.

cancun airport

The larger problem of organized crime continues to plague the region. An increase in violent and high-profile incidents placed unwanted attention upon Quintana Roo in the past few months. Although the vast majority of the problems have not directly impacted tourists, and visitors are statistically very safe it becomes a question of reputation.

Countries like St Maarten actually have some similar rates of violent crime but have avoided much of the negative press that Mexico regally receives. This global perception is an important issue to tackle, as it can be the difference between a tourist choosing Cancun or elsewhere, regardless of how baseless the problem may be.

aerial shot cancun

Solving problems like these will help cement Cancun’s place at the top of the world’s best destination, and ensure that visitors are guaranteed a wonderful experience. 

Tourists heading to Cancun in the near future should continue to check on restrictions in both Mexico and their own countries. These can change quickly and may impact the travel experience.

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