Skip to Content

Cancun Remains The Number One Destination In Mexico For International Travelers

Share The Article

Last Updated

According to the Official Airline Guide, Cancun has remained the number one destination in Mexico. The rankings are based on available seats on flights from abroad to each of the destinations in the country.
Cancun beat out its nearest competitor by almost 2 million seats, a noteworthy feat considering the second place was the Mexican capital, Mexico City.

cancun beach

Cancun has had a remarkable year in the face of the pandemic. Despite global tourism virtually shutting down, the seaside resort town has found itself at the top of many world rankings as one of the most popular destinations. 

Mexico has implemented extremely relaxed rules compared to many other countries in the world and didn’t close its borders or require vaccination or testing for those who wished to enter. Instead, it relied solely upon the notion of learning to live with the virus instead of shutting down completely.

cancun from above

2021 saw millions of travelers from across the globe pour into Cancun, partly because of its bold decision to stand firm in its entry requirements. Omicron put a dampener on the situation as the winter wave left a skyrocketing infection rate in its wake, dragging Quintana Roo back to a yellow designation.

The yellow rating on Mexico’s epidemiological traffic light system did little to hamper tourist numbers, and many of the hotels were able to receive a special dispensation in regards to their capacity limits. The rules allowed many of the hotels to limit their financial losses despite the level change.

cancun sign

Infection rates continued to rise, prompting the government to classify Cancun and the surrounding area as orange- one step before red. Similar rules allowed the same hotels to mitigate their losses again, and although some drops in numbers have been reported, bars and restaurants still look busy and hotels are doing well.

The possibility of a red level still looms, but recent comments from the Quintana Roo governor suggest that even that worst-case scenario will not be enough to shut down the economy.

girl in beach

With the arrival of the new Tulum airport scheduled in the near future, it will be interesting to see if Cancun can cling onto its top spot. Cancun International serves as the main airport for the entire region, meaning those traveling to Tulum or beyond are most likely flying into Cancun. The new capabilities in Tulum could pave the way for even more success for Cancun as local hotels will enjoy a bigger slice of the economic pie.

sun loungers

The full list is noted here:

1. Cancun: 7 million 960 thousand scheduled seats.

2. Mexico City: 5 million 624 thousand scheduled seats.

3. San José del Cabo: 2 million 610 thousand scheduled seats.

4. Guadalajara: 2 million 604 thousand scheduled seats.

5. Puerto Vallarta: 2 million 117 thousand scheduled seats.

6. Monterrey: 1 million 099 thousand scheduled seats.

7. León: 519 thousand scheduled seats.

8. Morelia: 295 thousand scheduled seats.

Cancun has added flights from all across the world in recent months including a new wave of European flights. Europe is typically a tougher market for Cancun, as many similar seaside resorts exist across the Atlantic, making a beach vacation much cheaper and with only a two or three-hour flight instead of eight or nine.

cancun beach cabana

Clinging on to that market post-pandemic will be a huge success for the area, but one that still remains to be seen. Several Spanish carriers already confirmed they would be continuing flights into the foreseeable future, with some of their daily routes.


Those hoping to visit Cancun should keep abreast of any changes to the restrictions in both Mexico and their own country. 

Read More

International Entry At Cancun Airport To Be Streamlined For Shorter Wait Times

Cancun Airport Sees Almost 100 Flights Delayed By U.S. Storms

Cancun Stays At Orange Covid Alert For Now, Here’s What Happens If It Goes To Red

Plan Your Next Cancun Vacation:

Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!

Choose From Thousands of Cancun and Riviera Maya Hotels, Resorts and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties

↓ Join the community ↓

The Cancun Sun Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations and tourism Q&A’s for the Mexican Caribbean


Subscribe to our Latest Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Cancun Sun’s latest breaking news affecting travelers, straight to your inbox.