Full Recovery Of Tourist Industry Announced As Over A Million Pass Through Quintana Roo
Cancun’s hotel occupancy rates have rebounded fully to pre-pandemic levels according to new statistics released from the first three months of the year. The news comes as the region receives over a million tourists for the Easter holiday.
The entirety of the Mexican Caribbean averaged 61.4% occupancy for the months of January, February, and March. The levels represent a slight increase over the same period in 2020, just before the pandemic effectively shut down the travel industry. Compared to 2021, the rate was over 20% higher, which was expected.
The news will be welcomed by the travel industry which spent two years scrambling to find its feet as it was dealt successive blows by worldwide lockdowns and travel bans.
Although Mexico never closed its borders, many of its sources of visitors enforced strict bans on travel, with many unable to leave their country for over a year. Even as the rules relaxed, the expensive possibility of multiple tests on their return prompted many potential tourists to travel domestically until the travel climate stabilized.
Although Cancun has performed extremely well, Riviera Maya actually came out on top with the highest occupancy rate in the Mexican Caribbean. Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, and Puerto Morelos followed in that order with Chetumal, the capital brining up the rear.
It should be noted that although Cancun was not top of the list, it also has a significantly higher number of rooms available, so reaching full occupancy was less likely for the popular resort town. In total, the Mexican Caribbean is home to around 1200 hotels and 118,772 rooms, of which roughly 76 thousand were occupied for the first three months of the year.
The high occupancy rates are continuing into April. In fact, with the easter vacation, rates are the highest they have been since the Christmas period. The Cancun airport is breaking records and, even with multiple obstacles, almost all hotels in the area are busy.
The only area that is faltering slightly is the Cancun downtown region, which is seeing significantly lower rates of occupancy. This is more likely because the bulk of the higher-end hotels are found on the hotel strip, closer to the beaches, although it’s expected that there will be a push to make that area more attractive for visitors.
The pressure will now be placed firmly on the government of Quintana Roo to ensure that the region is as safe for its visitors as possible. With the rest of the world opening up and dropping restrictions, the benefit afforded to Cancun by Mexico’s relaxed stance on the pandemic is waining. Those tourists who viewed Cancun as the only option will need to be convinced that the destination is worth a return trip in years to come.
The European market in particular will be hard to cling to. The vast majority of the sun-seeking tourists from across the Atlantic typically flock to destinations like Greece, Spain, and other top Mediterranean spots. With many of those closed or still under restrictive rules, the sometimes ten-hour flight to Mexico became much more attractive. But with those becoming more accessible again, it may take a lot of persuasions for a transatlantic flight to be a valid option.
Those arriving in Cancun or Quintana Roo over the coming weeks should anticipate large crowds. To help avoid disappointment visitors should contact hotels, restaurants, activity providers, and any other vendors to ensure places or reservations are made. Leaving it to the last minute may be risky.
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