Quintana Roo and Cancun have emerged as one of the leading international destinations for U.S travelers as the summer season kicks off. After a two-year break due to the pandemic, mass travel is back as an increasing number of Americans are choosing to spend their vacations in the Mexican state. Recent data shows that one in every six international U.S tourists are traveling to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean. The data is in line with a previous estimate that 2022 will be a record-breaking year for tourism in Mexico.
Mexico, which has been faster than other countries at attracting tourists following the COVID pandemic, is proving to be a popular choice among American travelers. The country has doubled its share of the outbound U.S tourism market, with around one in three Americans choosing Mexico for international travel. Meanwhile, Quintana Roo received half of all American tourists in Mexico, meaning that one in every six U.S international tourists opt for the Caribbean destination.
Jesús Alamguer, the head of Cancun’s Hotel Association, revealed the numbers at a press conference on the state of tourism in the country. The numbers are based on a recently published study by Cicotur, a research center for tourism. Meanwhile, state officials and representatives from the tourism industry also took part in reviewing the figures.
Quintana Roo has several tourism hotspots such as Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum. With an abundance of all-inclusive hotels as well as several cultural and historical sites, the region is an attractive choice for U.S tourists who can also find some of the country’s top beaches in the area. A new theme park is also in the making, further strengthening Quintana Roo’s tourism potential.
The headline joins the long list of positive news for the Mexican tourism industry in the past few months. The summer season is set to be the busiest on record, with some hotels reporting a near-100% occupancy rate for June. Meanwhile, Isla Mujeres, one of the region’s top resort islands, recently saw a 90% occupation rate for its hotels, an unprecedented number. With strong demand, two new hotels are expected to open in the area later this year.
Cancun’s International Airport is also seeing record passenger numbers as more people chose to fly to Mexico. In April, a total of 2.6 million passengers passed through the airport’s gates. The number is 16% higher than in 2019, and with the summer season in full swing, the airport is seeing nearly 600 flights per day, just shy of the record 659 flights in March 2018.
The COVID pandemic significantly shook the tourism market but also offered new travel opportunities after the removal of travel restrictions. One of the biggest changes has been Mexico’s increasing share in the U.S outbound market. In 2019, 17% of U.S international travelers chose to visit Mexico, whereas in 2022 the number has jumped to 34%. The Mexican Caribbean also saw an improvement compared to the pre-pandemic period, going from 7% in 2019 to the current 17% share. After two years of being unable to travel, Mexico’s close proximity to the U.S and excellent availability of flights make the destination a top pick for visitors.
In the meantime, Mexico and Quintana Roo are working to attract new travelers to the country. With travel restrictions largely gone, the international market is in a state of fierce competitiveness. Some officials are concerned that Mexico’s popularity as a tourism hotspot may decrease as new destinations promote themselves on the market. For its part, Quinata Roo launched several advertising campaigns in major U.S cities including New York.
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