There seems to be no end to Cancun’s soaring popularity among travelers after officials revealed the city’s hotels will be almost fully booked over the next three months. Millions of travelers are expected to flock to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean over the winter, pushing up average nightly rates at hotels and resorts across the sun-soaked region. Cancun broke several all-time records in 2022 when over 30 million travelers visited the resort town.
Although 2022 was a record-shattering year for Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean, travel numbers are expected to further rise in 2023. Authorities recently reported that many accommodations in the popular resort destination are nearly fully booked during January and that the situation would last well into March.
Cancun is by far the most popular resort destination in the Mexican Caribbean and is home to over a hundred resorts. The city’s growing popularity is leading to above-average hotel occupancy rates during the winter travel period, one of the busiest times for the sunny destination. Travelers can expect to pay more for their accommodation over the busy winter period, but even higher prices aren’t stopping tourists from flocking to Cancun.
According to Eduardo Domíngues Ibarra, the director of the Cancun, Puerto Morelos, and Isla Mujeres Hotel Association, an average of 65% of all rooms in the area are booked in the area during January. The association oversees the lion’s share of all accommodations in the resort hotspot, owning some 214 hotels and resorts with over 53,000 rooms.
Domínguez Ibarra also added that travelers are rushing to book rooms for February and March, with over half of all hotels already booked for those months. According to the executive, 2023 will be a busy year for accommodations in Cancun and the Riviera Maya, as the region consolidates its leading role as the most popular resort destination in Mexico.
The United States and Canada remain by far the most important market for inbound tourism, representing more than 70% of all arrivals. “We’ve had a great start to the year, and we are predicting more arrivals from our main markets,” the director said in a statement. While the United States has already returned to pre-pandemic travel figures, the Canadian market has been slower to recover, although airlines have been quick to announce new routes.
Average nightly rates are also reportedly rising, according to local officials, who say that record-breaking demand is pushing up prices. That being said, travelers can still find plenty of great deals, including affordable all-inclusive options around Cancun and the Riviera Maya. While resorts in Cancun’s hotel zone have the highest nightly rates, accommodations in the city’s downtown area are much more affordable and less full.
Record arrival numbers are also promoting several hospitality firms to invest in new hotels and resorts, including Marriott and Xcaret. The Mexican Caribbean accounts for up to 75% of all new hotel rooms in Mexico, highlighting the region’s solid popularity among North American travelers. Xcaret alone has announced an ambitious plan to build up to 8 new resorts across the Mexican Caribbean, with hospitality giants announcing similar plans.
Travelers can find a range of accommodations in the sun-soaked region, ranging from luxurious 5-star all-inclusive to more affordable hotels. Authorities recently revealed that the Mexican Caribbean has a record amount of online rentals thanks to platforms like Airbnb that allow travelers to book home stays. Despite lower rates and greater flexibility, online rentals come with some downsides, and travelers are often the target of different scams and frauds.
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