The beautiful island of Cozumel is set to close 2022 with more than 3 million tourists from nearly 1200 cruises this year. This represents a 340% jump above its record in 2021, according to the Director of Quintana Roo Comprehensive Port Administration (Apiqroo).
Cozumel Has It All
Cozumel Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean, especially for people who love being underwater. It’s well-known for its clear, sunlit waters and abundant marine life, but that’s just the beginning. Cozumel also has plenty of shopping areas, authentic Mexican restaurants, historic landmarks, and various excursions – making it a favorite stop for many Caribbean cruises.
The experience of vacationing in a floating city is enticing to most tourists because it only requires very minimal preparation for a well-planned adventure. The biggest vessels even have a casino and basketball court onboard, more than enough to keep the cruise passengers entertained.
Companies like Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International are some of the biggest in the business, and their ships regularly stop at Cozumel Island. In fact, Wonder of Seas, owned by Royal Caribbean International, is currently the largest cruise ship in the world, and it makes a pit stop in Cozumel.
Cozumel had an excellent start for cruise tourism this year. In the first quarter of 2022, Cozumel ports received more than 600 thousand cruise passengers. This impressive rebound was sustained throughout the year, even surpassing an early estimate of 2 million visitors and 962 cruise ships by the end of it! If you need some perspective, Cozumel used to receive half of Mexico’s total amount of cruise visitors before the pandemic hit. This just goes to show how beautiful this island is and why people are still flocking here despite everything that’s happened in recent memory.
This month alone, Cozumel was host to more than 260 thousand international cruise passengers, which is the highest number seen in the second half of 2022. With winter coming soon, it’s likely that these numbers will continue to go up. In fact, local authorities of the island are preparing for a record-breaking 100% capacity as early as the second week of December.
Not too long ago, Cozumel Island was named the best cruise destination in Mexico. The tribute is due to the growing popularity of its resorts and excursions among travelers. The international tourists visiting Cozumel via cruise ships are largely coming from the United States, Germany, Bahamas, Panama, and other European countries. Because of Cozumel’s excellent service and port facilities and infrastructure, the island experiences a continuous flow of tourism.
In December last year, Cozumel announced the construction of the fourth pier on the island as an attempt to increase its cruise ship capacity. However, this plan was suspended through a court order after two environmentalist groups opposed the project for the risk of destroying the natural coral reserve of the island.
To rise above this setback, refurbishment of the Cozumel International Airport was done this year to improve the passenger experience at the airport. This resulted in new direct flights being strategically launched to bring more passengers from U.S. and Canada to Cozumel.
A memorable trip and scenery await tourists in Cozumel. Recently, three newly renovated viewpoints in Cozumel were opened to the public, perfectly timed for the peak of the winter season. These sites provide a breathtaking panorama of the sparkling white beach and the azure Caribbean waters that are invigorated by the easterlies during this time of the year.
It is clear that Cozumel Island is definitely a top favorite in Mexico. With the revival of cruise tourism and improved air connectivity of the island, this surge in tourist numbers is a glimpse of what’s in store for Cozumel in 2023. Also, kudos to the authorities and businesses for their amazing level of effort and hospitality.
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