Tourism in Cancun is currently booming despite the fact that recent reports show that hotel rates in Cancun, the Riviera Maya, and Mexico in general, are up 48 percent compared to 2019. For some more luxury hotels, this increase has raised the per night rate to as much as $1200. Tourists who pay that for a room now would have only paid around $700 a night during the same time period in 2019, prior to the pandemic.
As pointed out by a Mexico-based property development CEO, Abraham Metta, the rooms at those resorts “were no less luxurious when they were $700 a night.”
The analysis, conducted by the firm CoStar, further showed that rates at luxury properties in March of this year are up 22 percent compared to the same timeframe last year. So, what is the reason for the major increase in hotel rates in the Mexican Caribbean?
According to Accor hospitality group vice president of development in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, Nicholas Martínez, the Covid-19 pandemic may have partially had something to do with it. He pointed out that there was a major increase in remote work during that time among those who had flexibility in their work and could afford to spend their time in a luxury property in Mexico. It is those types of individuals, who have the money to spend and who want to spend more time traveling and being outdoors, that are making Mexico so attractive for hotel developers. This allows resorts to charge a premium for rooms and they will still continue to have no problem filling them, just as they haven’t in recent months.
In Cancun, for example, spring break and the Easter holiday brought millions of tourists to the city. At some points during those months, hotel occupancy was nearly maxed out and Cancun International Airport was welcoming hundreds of flights every day.
In 2021, even during the pandemic, tourism in Mexico was at an all-time high. This shows that despite the rising hotel rates, people are flocking to Cancun and the Riviera Maya for some sunshine and fun, and it doesn’t look like it will significantly slow down any time soon.
Another reason for the increase in rates in luxury resorts in Mexico, says executive director of Hamak Hotels, Alberto Ramirez, is that Mexico offers better service to their guests. He compares Mexico to the U.S., where, he says, they still charge high fees but are lacking the staff to do such things as provide room service or offer help with luggage. This provides for a better experience in Mexico and a happier tourist in the end. For better service travelers generally don’t mind paying higher prices, especially when the places they are traveling to have as much to offer as Cancun and the Riviera Maya.
Currently, there are multiple hotel and resort property projects taking place throughout Mexico, including in Cancun. In 2021 there were 5,000 new hotel rooms added in the Mexican Caribbean alone. This included two new all-inclusive Wyndham properties, one in Cancun and one in Playa del Carmen. In Mexico as a whole, 46 hotels are projected to be completed in 2022, with 11 of those properties being built in Cancun.
The tourism industry in Cancun has been strong for a long time and all indications show that it will continue to grow. Even when dealing with issues like the excessive sargassum on the beaches this year and the pandemic last year, tourism has not declined. It just goes to show how much Cancun has to offer to its tourists, and it just keeps adding to the list each year.
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