Cancun is one of the hottest international destinations for travelers from the United States and Canada this year.
Ever since the end of the pandemic, the revenge travel trend has caused a dramatic increase in the passenger count to the Mexican beach resort destination.
It skyrocketed the Cancun International Airport to the second busiest international airport in the country, right behind the Mexico City Airport.
Resorts, restaurants, tour operators and even bars are enjoying the influx of business. However, the infrastructure has been challenged to keep up with the increase in visitors to Cancun.
With a historic heat wave impacting the city, and the demand for air conditioning increasing, the power grid in the area is straining to keep up with the increased demand for power.
This unfortunately has pushed the electric power infrastructure in the Cancun area to its limits resulting in a series of blackouts in the area, impacting the overall visitor experience.
Blackouts in Cancun and the Riviera Maya
Intermittent electric blackouts in the north end of the Riviera Maya, as well as Cancun, are starting to affect tourism in the area.
According to the local hotel association, the lack of reliable power supply in Cancun during this peak summer electric demand is creating serious economic losses to companies, hotels, and travelers.
Some reports say travelers are finding out about the electric power issue and canceling reservations.
Not only is the issue impacting Cancun, but reports are that other nearby towns in the state of Quintana Roo are also being impacted, such as Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.
Impact on Water Supply
The lack of reliable power is also putting a strain on the water supply to Cancun’s tourist zone.
Some of the water supply in Cancun relies on high-voltage electric power for its desalination operations.
Without power, much of the freshwater generation has to stop until the electricity is restored.
What’s Behind The Problem?
According to many experts, the core issue with the power supply in Cancun is the need to upgrade the aging electricity infrastructure in the beach resort destination.
The blackouts due to the increased demand on the power grid due to the influx of tourism and a historic heat wave are a symptom of the problem and not the core issue.
The National Center for Energy Control recently said that the supply is guaranteed throughout the country.
However, the agency which oversees the electric grid in Mexico was forced to recently issue a power supply alert which it considers only temporary.
The agency said power supply requests peaked on June 20, and issues with supply were only limited to Mexico City and Monterrey.
However, that’s not what tourists in the Cancun area are reporting.
What Should Tourists Do?
The Mexican weather service has called the historic heat wave gripping the Cancun area aggressive and prolonged. A dramatic shift in the weather patterns is not predicted for the next couple of weeks.
In fact, according to the United States Climate Prediction Center, there is only a 50-50 chance that the heat wave will be resolved before July 11.
There is a possibility that visitors to Cancun and the Riviera Maya area could experience intermittent electric outages as the heat wave continues to affect the area. They could also expect potential issues related to water delivery during the time of outages.
The good news is many hotels in Cancun and the Riviera Maya area do store freshwater and have backup generators normally used for hurricane response that could come in handy during this electric demand issue in the area.
Travelers should ask their resort if these backup services are available and being used on the property before booking their vacation accommodations during the current power crisis.
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