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Cancun To End The Year With Record-Breaking Tourist Arrivals

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The highly optimistic prediction of the number of tourist arrivals in the Cancun area for 2023 just happened to not be enough for the year.

Instead of the 20.5 million travelers as initially projected for this year, Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean will instead top more than 21 million visitors to the beach resort tourist hotspot.

Partnership For Success

Playa Paraiso, Cancun on Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico

The Secretary of Tourism of Quintana Roo, Bernardo Cueto Riestra, is absolutely pleased by the number of travelers getting to share his paradise by visiting the beautiful Mexican Caribbean destination.

“Quintana Roo has been favored by the arrival of visitors this year, which will lead us to break tourist records again,” Secretary Cueto Riestra said.

He cites the close relationship that the tourism department has with the private sector, such as airlines and resort hotels, as to the success of welcoming more travelers to Cancun and the State of Quintana Roo.

American Airlines Plane at Cancun International Airport

One of the programs that was put in place to create a close relationship between the private and public sector was the development of an Advisory Council, which includes tourism-focused businesses in the area and the Tourism Promotion Council.

Balanced Mix of Travelers

A majority of the travelers to Cancun and the State of Quintana Roo came from international travel markets.

Originally, they anticipated more than 13 million travelers would come from international destinations, with a majority coming from the United States.

Beach in Tulum

An additional 7 million visitors were expected to travel to the region from other parts of Mexico to enjoy their beach resort vacation getaways.

However, the projections at the end of 2022 did not anticipate the grand opening of the new international airport in Tulum.

However, that airport will not officially be opened to international arrivals until next year.

They also projected an average occupancy in Cancun and the State of Quintana Roo of 70 percent for the entire year. That number actually was slightly exceeded for the year.

Cancun Hotel Zone with a calm sea and resorts on a sunny morning

Plans For 2024

In 2024, Cancun region tourism officials plan to maintain their level of promotion and advertising but instead make a small shift in the messages delivered to potential visitors.

They plan to use the opportunity of the opening of two new transportation options – the Maya Train and the Tulum International Airport – to create excitement among travelers to visit the area and see the new amenities available for tourists.

inside view of cancun international airport terminal

Plans are also underway to increase the number of tourists visiting the area from Europe in addition to international travelers from the United States and domestic markets across Mexico.

While numbers from the Cancun International Airport may count 30 million passengers this year, it should be noted that some of those passengers may have stayed in regions outside of Cancun and the State of Quintana Roo, and others may have been transit travelers to other areas of Mexico.

Key Details for Tourists

Aerial view of stunning Cancun resort

Travelers to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean can expect to see an increase in visitors to the area and increasing prices for their vacation getaways as the demand for tourism services in the Cancun region continues to outstrip the supply.

That means travelers will need to book their flights and preferred hotel rooms earlier in advance and anticipate higher prices, especially during the peak spring and winter holiday travel seasons.

The excitement around the launch of the new Maya Train and the Tulum International Airport is already increasing demand for travel to the Cancun region and leading to increased prices and limited availability of resort hotel rooms and flights to the Mexican Caribbean.

Maya train construction underway in the Mexican Caribbean

This will even increase more when nonstop flights to Tulum International Airport from the United States start in March of next year.

Instead, budget-oriented travelers will have to travel during the off-season months or potentially travel to lower-cost areas, such as the recent increase in travelers to areas like Merida.

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