Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean are seeing record numbers of international travelers as people flock to the popular location for their summer holidays. With approximately 400,000 daily visitors in the state, Quintana Roo is welcoming more tourists than at any point in its history. Meanwhile, hotel occupancy rates are also projected to remain record-high over the summer.
After two years of harsh restrictions limiting international travel, tourists are once again able to hop on a plane and visit some of their favorite destinations. For many, that happens to be Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean. Home to some of the top beaches in the world, as well as a stunning historical and cultural heritage dating back centuries, Quintana Roo is one of the most versatile and interesting summer holiday destinations.
Recent data published by the state’s tourism authorities show that travel numbers have grown across the board. Cancun International Airport, by far the largest airport in the state, is seeing record aircraft movement as well as passenger numbers. As of late July, around 400,000 tourists were visiting Quintana Roo every day, or 10% more than in 2019, the last year before the pandemic hit.
The numbers show a strong interest in this Caribbean destination, putting it ahead of others such as Jamaica or the Dominican Republic. The Mexican Caribbean has for long been one of the preferred destinations for U.S travelers, owing to the location’s excellent connections and affordable all-inclusive hotels. The area is also seeing its popularity surge among solo travelers, as well as digital nomads, with several hotels offering tailored packages.
Although July’s complete tourism numbers are yet to be published, officials say it’s very likely that the Mexican Caribbean will report its busiest month ever. Earlier this year, the Easter holiday period was also a busy one, with the state seeing above-average hotel occupancy rates and packed airports. Back then, around 380,000 visitors were reported each day. The current estimate of 400,000 daily visitors in July is based on calculations taking into account hotel occupancy, flight traffic, and historical records.
Meanwhile, passenger numbers from June showed a 7% increase when compared to 2019, somewhat below July’s figures. With the summer vacation season full steam ahead, visitors are expected to quickly fill up hotels around the area. Popular locations such as Playa del Carmen have already announced that they expect hotels to be nearly fully-booked, with occupancy rates exceeding 90%. A similar situation is expected in Isla Mujeres and Cancun, among others.
Quintana Roo has recently announced several new infrastructure projects to cope with the growing number of visitors. Cancun’s resort district, as well as the main road from the airport to the city, has seen major traffic build-up as a result of tourist and worker traffic. Some of the main projects that aim to address the congestion include Cancun’s new vehicular bridge, set for completion by the end of 2023, as well as a major renovation of the Colosio boulevard. The ongoing construction projects are also expected to disrupt traffic in the city, causing delays of up to two hours heading to and from Cancun airport.
Tourists from the U.S can fly directly to Cancun from 44 cities, compared to the 33 flights available before COVID. Visitors from Europe can fly to Cancun from over 20 destinations, with connections to popular European cities such as Barcelona or Paris. Cancun International Airport is seeing around 500 flights per day this week, with peaks of up to 600 daily flights.
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