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Cancun Set To Break Tourism Records As International Passenger Arrivals Grow

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Cancun International Airport is on track to break the record of 30 million passengers set on December 28th, 2022, as more and more travelers are flocking to this Mexican Caribbean gem this winter.

According to data by Asur (Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste), 2,654,278 passengers were mobilized during November, marking an 8.5% increase compared to 2022.

Airplane flying over tropical palm trees

Interestingly, the same data evidences Cancun’s growing allure among international travelers, as domestic traffic even dipped by 1.2% compared to the same time period last year, while international traffic rose to a noteworthy 4.4%.

U.S. travelers remain a major part of Cancun’s tourist scene, with the coastal town topping Americans’ international go-to winter destination list for the sixth year in a row.

So far, a grand total of 29,729,198 passengers have arrived at Cancun Airport from January to November. If you noticed that this figure is only 270,802 passengers shy of breaking the 30 million record – congrats on your math skills.

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Given that hotel occupancy levels are already skyrocketing in Cancun and nearby Riviera Maya destinations, it seems that breaking this record is not just a possibility – it’s pretty much imminent.

Why Cancun Remains A Favorite Winter Destination

The answer to this question is simple: Cancun is a paradise. With some of Mexico’s most breathtaking beaches, added to the fantastic weather during winter, Cancun provides a beach experience like no other.

If you’re thinking that there are numerous other Caribbean destinations with equally picturesque beaches, you’d be right.

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However, Cancun’s widespread appeal is also attributed to its unparalleled accessibility.

Considering that U.S. and Canadian travelers form the primary tourist demographic – though Cancun is increasingly popular in Latin American countries such as Colombia, Spain in Europe, and, well, wherever the U.K. finds itself nowadays – the proximity of these nations to Cancun makes travel not only convenient but also budget-friendly.

Moreover, since the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration recently reinstated Mexico’s air safety level to the highest category, flight frequencies and available seats to Cancun have skyrocketed.

Major carriers like American Airlines are ramping up their connectivity with Cancun, which in turn, results in more affordable flights from more U.S. cities.

And it doesn’t stop there – the recent inauguration of Tulum International Airport will not only alleviate some of the load off Cancun Airport but is also expected to bring prices down even further.

It’s Not Only About Cancun

While Cancun remains the go-to destination in the Mexican Caribbean, other places like Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres, and Cozumel are gaining popularity.

In 2023, travel trends are leaning towards eco-friendly, wellness, and cultural experiences, and these spots fit the bill perfectly.

Tulum has evolved from a quaint fishing town to one of the leading wellness tourism destinations worldwide. 

Hotel Esencia morning yoga class
Image Courtesy Of: Hotel Esencia Tulum

Meanwhile, Cozumel has transcended its reputation as a cruise ship port and diving hotspot to become a full-fledged tourist destination, with its international airport also seeing a boost in air connectivity due to growing demand.

And let’s not forget the massive allure of the neighboring Yucatán state, showcasing some of the country’s most captivating Magical Towns, archeological zones, and natural beauty.

The fact that Mérida International Airport is also breaking passenger records should be a good indicator of the growing popularity of the region.

Woman at Izamal

The Mexican Caribbean Is Growing

Speaking of the rising popularity of the Mexican Caribbean, it’s worth noting that massive tourism infrastructure enhancements are underway across the broader region, with the standout project being the Maya Train.

To say this development has been highly anticipated would be an understatement, as tickets for the Maya Train inaugural trip to take place this Friday December 15th sold out like hot cakes within minutes of becoming available.

Maya train

For now, only the Campeche-Cancun section will be operational. 

However, once the full 1,554 km tour is completed in the first half of 2024, travelers will effortlessly traverse the Yucatan Peninsula without missing the multitude of tourist hotspots and hidden gems the region has to offer.

Moreover, Cancun Airport will feature its own station, providing travelers with a more convenient (and undoubtedly classier) means of reaching Mexican Caribbean destinations compared to traditional transportation options such as buses or private transfers.

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