The Mexican Caribbean skyrocketed in popularity in 2023, with Cancun International Airport emerging as the leading airport nationwide in international arrivals.
Cancun International Airport took the lead nationwide in international arrivals, welcoming a whopping 19 million tourists, mainly from the U.S., Canada, and Colombia.
The Ministry of the Interior reveals a 14.2% increase from 2019, with a 5% rise in international arrivals at Cancun airport.
After the New Year festivities, Cancun remains a tourist haven, with a remarkable 90% hotel occupancy during the first week of 2024, hosting over 86,000 visitors across the destination’s 39,430 hotel rooms.
The fact that 65% of visitors come from abroad evidences Cancun’s enormous popularity among international travelers, particularly Americans.
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Moreover, 12 million 89 thousand tourists were recorded from the U.S. in the first 11 months of the year, exceeding the 2022 period by 3.3% and even 28.2% compared to 2019, as reported by The Ministry of Tourism (Sectur).
Why Cancun’s Popularity Will Continue To Grow In 2024
By now, Cancun’s popularity seems unstoppable, with 2024 poised to break tourism records once again.
The addition of high-profile all-inclusive resorts like Royalton Splash Riviera Cancun and Secrets Playa Blanca in Costa Mujeres in 2023 has undoubtedly contributed to this surge.
Further elevating Cancun’s allure, slated openings for 2024 include the luxurious Marriott Cancun and SHA Mexico resorts.
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However, to truly understand why Cancun will attract even more travelers this year, let’s zoom out and take a look at the broader Mexican Caribbean region.
Two monumental federal projects, the Tulum Airport and The Maya Train, were inaugurated in December 2023, promising to revolutionize travel in the Mexican Caribbean.
Once fully operational, the Maya Train will significantly enhance connectivity between Cancun and destinations like Playa del Carmen and Tulum, which have been gaining traction in recent years due to their diverse offerings centered around nature, wellness, and culture.
Not only that, but it will allow travelers to easily reach archaeological wonders like Chichén Itzá and Uxmal, Magical Towns like Bacalar, and numerous other hidden gems.
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Meanwhile, the Tulum Airport, with a capacity of over 5 million passengers per year, aims to alleviate congestion at Cancun Airport, potentially resulting in increased connections and more competitive prices.
Combined, these two developments will definitely be a game-changer for travel in the Mexican Caribbean this year, ensuring a more convenient and seamless experience.
Cancun Is Safer Than Ever For Travelers
So far, we’ve looked at how Cancun’s growing popularity can be explained by infrastructure developments and enhanced connectivity.
But the story doesn’t end there, as a significant driver behind the influx of travelers to Cancun and the wider Mexican Caribbean lies in the region’s enhanced safety.
During the past year, the local government has implemented stringent safety measures to reduce crime rates and protect visitors. This initiative involves deploying law enforcement units strategically, particularly during the peak summer and winter seasons.
The results speak for themselves, with notable reductions in various crime categories, such as armed robberies and petty theft, especially in the Cancun Hotel Zone.
Furthermore, significant investments in state-of-the-art surveillance systems and technologies like drones and body cameras have significantly enhanced the efficiency and control of the local authorities.
Nevertheless, it’s crucial to remember that, much like in any popular tourist destination, thieves and pickpockets may still target unsuspecting travelers. So, exercising common-sense safety precautions, especially during nighttime, is always advisable.
But given the not-so-perfect safety record of Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean, these developments bring fantastic news for travelers, as safety is often a primary concern when considering destinations.
It’s clear that 2023 was a massively successful year for Cancun in terms of tourism, and current hotel occupancy rates show that the destination kicked off 2024 with a bang.
And, with the exciting things coming up for Cancun this year, the destination’s already huge popularity will undoubtedly soar even higher.
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