Cancun air travel continues to ease its way back to normal after comprehensively dropping through the COVID pandemic. The Cancun International Airport closed out 2021 receiving right around 4.6 million US travelers. That number is actually up 18% from the total number of US passengers that the beach city received in 2019. For comparison, Mexico City’s international airport only received about 1 million US travelers in that same span.
Although 2022 started out on a bit of a downward trend, the 2 million plus visitors that arrived to the area in January still represented a 0.2% increase when compared to the numbers registered in the same span back in 2019. The local international airport is currently slated to receive 56,951 flights in the current year. With a total of over 10 million passengers potentially getting on those flights.
The amount of cash that could flow into the region on air fare alone is set to hit over 10 billion dollars in 2022. All of these numbers are set to be reached before the new Tulum airport opens its doors in 2023. Essentially meaning that all of the connectivity benefits that the region brings are all held under one roof!
Tourist Numbers In Hotels Are Also On The Rise
Naturally, the tourism industry as a whole is benefiting from this post pandemic, air travel boom. Local hotels report that around 300,000 tourists filled the city hotels this week. In a time of year that isn’t necessarily big for travelers overall. The 300,000 visitors, though, represent a number of tourists in the area that also hadn’t been seen since 2019. With the city going to a green alert level in the COVID restriction meter, hotels are potentially going to be able to open their doors to even more guests in the coming weeks.
Looking at the current panorama local investors are anticipating that this year will not only be one of post pandemic recovery for the region. It may potentially be a year of growth for the area. The increasing number of air travelers arriving in Cancun are certainly a good sign. As are some of the different projects that are aimed to be completed in the coming years like the aforementioned Tulum airport, and the “Tren Maya” project. Even though the numbers are pointing in the right direction there are still some people in the industry that want to proceed with caution.
Are Cancun Tourist Numbers “Inflated” By Restrictive COVID Guidelines Across The Globe?
One of the voices that has expressed a sense of skepticism regarding the positive numbers in the number of travelers arriving to the area has been Cancun hotels association president Jesus Almaguer. He mentioned that many of the travelers are “borrowed” from other parts of the world. Arguing that Mexico’s lax COVID protocols are the main reason why the number of travelers has increased so dramatically. Almaguer thinks that,
We are living off of tourism that is being “lent” by other travel destinations. Because they have not opened up to travelers due to the pandemic. They are being more restrictive in other countries.
President Almaguer also mentioned that once travel restrictions begin to be lifted at other tourist destinations the competition is going to get fierce. He hoped that the Cancun area would be able to extend its promotional efforts to other parts of the globe. To not rely so much on American tourism.
Money for promotional efforts though may be harder to come by, at least at the federal level. After the current administration scrapped the board of Tourism promotion in Mexico. Promotional efforts for the region may have to come in large part through the private sector in the coming years.
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