The tourism industry in general continues to take blow after blow. It seems that all of the latest main world events spell disaster for the tourism industry. The COVID pandemic is obviously the biggest one in a generation. Travel restrictions are still in effect in some countries. That has heavily impacted the number of flights that are reaching the Cancun shores. Now with the war in Ukraine breaking out gas prices have skyrocketed. Another factor that is certainly not good news for the airline industry as a whole. In spite of all of this though the Cancun airport continues to see a steady climb in the number of flights that are arriving daily.
Since the beginning of the year the total number of flights per day to and from the Cancun airport has hovered around the 500 mark. With these numbers the total number of flights at the local airport this year has surpassed what we saw in 2019 in the same period. The current numbers though are a bit below what was recorded in the first 2 months of 2020 without a global pandemic.
This year the Cancun and Cozumel airports combined to receive about 4.4 million guests. Back in 2020 almost 4.6 million passengers were at Cancun airports at some point. Should this be a cause for concern? Probably not, here are a couple of reasons why.
Setbacks Continue To Plague The Airline Industry
Certain experts had anticipated that the tourism industry in Cancun was set to grow in 2022, not just recover. Currently, the number of folks who have arrived to Cancun beaches by plane more than doubles the 2021 number. As was just disclosed the number of guests rivals pre-pandemic numbers.
This though, is with COVID restrictions still in place in many countries across the globe. Even countries where COVID protocols have eased up a bit at this point had cut back the number of flights to Cancun. Jet Blue for example is sizing down its entire operation. That includes cutting out routes to Cancun entirely. While Frontier Airlines is actually adding US flights to the beach city.
On top of the reshaping of the airline industry which may see certain airlines go out of business because of the COVID pandemic, the war in Ukraine has made oil prices skyrocketed. Although US sanctions on Russian oil have been more or less effective in stabilizing the price of the commodity there’s still plenty of uncertainty in that realm. It’s in this context that traveler numbers rival 2020 records while surpassing 2019 travel numbers. Signs seem to be pointing up rather than down.
Will The Airport Be Able To Hold Up?
As traveler numbers continue to climb the main concern is whether the Airport is going to be adequately staffed to be able to handle the rising number of arrivals. Immigration authorities pledged a massive increase in the number of agents that are set to be present at entry points. To ensure that the long wait times that tourists have been having to endure for at least the beginning of this year can be reduced. There’s also talks about setting up digital immigration machines. Where tourists could scan their documents and gain entry to the country. More officers seem to already be on hand at the Cancun airport.
Another thing though that could certainly alleviate some of the congestion at the airport is the creation of a new one. Luckily the new Tulum airport is under construction. At the moment the opening date is set for some time in 2023. The site is near the Xel-Ha park, and the entrance to the main town of Tulum. Building adequate roads in the area is going to be a must to reach that 2023 opening date!
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