Anyone who has visited Mexico, and particularly Cancun, can understand why it’s such a popular vacation destination, and for those that need evidence of its allure, it’s everywhere. In fact, one only has to look to the many publications, websites, and travel industry leaders that determine which vacation destinations are the best to see how popular Mexico, including the Mexican Caribbean, is. One of those publications is Forbes and they have recently named Mexico as a top 2023 destination, as well as one of Latin America’s trendiest destinations, and Cancun is the biggest appeal for tourists.
A Brief Cancun History
Prior to 1970 Cancun was a small Mayan fishing settlement with only about 100 people living in the area, at which time it was decided by the Mexican government that it would be turned into a tourist destination. The first hotel opened in 1974 and within a year the city was welcoming approximately 100,000 visitors. By the 1980s Cancun was booming as a vacation destination and more resorts were showing up in the city, along with an increase in tourists, particularly from the U.S. and Europe.
Today there are more than 100 hotels in Cancun, the majority of them in the area called the “Hotel Zone,” which is the main tourist area in the city. Multiple new hotels have opened in Cancun just this year, including the Royal Uno All-Inclusive Resort & Spa, the Waldorf Astoria Cancun, the Royalton Splash Riviera Cancun, and the Kempinski Hotel Cancun. New properties are already in the works and preparing for opening in 2023 as well, including the much-anticipated Margaritaville Island Reserve Riviera Maya Cancun.
Although Cancun has remained popular as a vacation destination over the years, that popularity has increased exponentially in just the last couple. In fact, just this week Cancun broke a tourism record when the airport hit the 30 million mark for passengers it welcomed to the city this year. A large portion of these passengers are foreign visitors from the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Why Cancun Is What It Is Today
The reason Cancun was chosen by the Mexican government to be a vacation destination was that it has so much to offer, namely its stunning white sand beaches and turquoise blue water. Cancun is more than just one of the best beach destinations in the world, though, not that that’s a bad title to have. But visiting Cancun also gives tourists the opportunity to explore fascinating Mayan ruins and history, unbelievable nature like cenotes and the Mayan jungle, and pure luxury at some of the most incredible all-inclusive resorts in the Mexican Caribbean.
Cancun has been nominated for a number of prestigious awards this year for being a top vacation destination, not just in Mexico, but in the world. In the World Travel Awards, it was nominated for both the Mexico & Central America’s Leading Beach Destination 2022 award, and the World’s Leading Beach Destination 2022 award. Although it did not win in these categories, Cancun did take awards home for being Mexico & Central America’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination 2022 and Mexico’s Leading Destination 2022.
It doesn’t look like tourism is going to slow down in Cancun anytime soon, at least not according to the numbers. Hotels during the winter and holiday season have been near capacity, and Cancun International Airport just broke an all-time record for daily flights. In one day 719 flights flew in and out of the airport, the majority of them originating from foreign locations.
As the busy spring season gets closer flights and hotels will fill up quickly. So now is the best time to start planning for that 2023 vacation, because Cancun will undoubtedly be one of the top destinations next year too.
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