Playa del Carmen is one of the most popular destinations in the Mexican Caribbean this summer as city officials forecast that only 10% of hotel rooms are left in the city. The popular destination has recently taken several measures to bolster tourist security in the area and clean up record amounts of sargassum from its beaches in preparation for the busy season.
The top-rated town just 45 minutes south of Cancun is expecting a record-breaking year for tourism as the summer season is about to begin, with local authorities forecasting an 85 to 90% hotel occupancy rate. The beachside city has long been one of the most popular destinations in the Mexican Caribbean thanks to its excellent beaches and booming restaurant scene, home to some of the state’s top bars. The city expects to see a massive surge in tourists this summer as sun-seeking travelers fill up its hotels.
July and August are some of the busiest months for tourism in the Mexican Caribbean, and Playa del Carmen is expected to receive a significant amount of all incoming tourists. Recent data from Sedetur – the state secretary for tourism – indicates that from the 3.5 million tourists expected to visit the Mexican Caribbean over the next two months, around 350 thousand are anticipated to spend their vacation in Playa del Carmen. The figure is far beyond that of 2019, before the pandemic started, meaning that visitors are once again flocking to this gem of the Mexican Caribbean.
Playa del Carmen has already seen high demand for hotel rooms this year, with a nearly 80% occupancy rate reported between January and April this year. With the summer season just a few days away, the city expects a new record as tourists rush to plan last-minute summer holidays. Playa del Carmen has also performed well compared to other destinations in the area, with a higher occupancy rate compared to hotspots such as Cancun.
The city has also taken action to improve its image by making improvements to its main streets and beaches. Earlier in June, local officials announced a new plan to make Quinta avenue, the city’s main avenue running parallel to the beach, a fully pedestrian street. Moreover, authorities want to tackle the issue of informal street commerce, which has for long been a source of annoyance to tourists who are often scammed or end up paying a heavy price for counterfeit goods.
Playa del Carmen is also home to some of the most popular beaches in the Mexican Caribbean. Although sargassum levels this summer have been at unprecedented levels, local officials have been proactive in making sure it doesn’t interrupt a perfect day at the beach, with more workers hired for its removal.
According to the municipal president Lili Campos “the nearly 350,000 tourists that will visit Solidaridad this summer mean that economic growth and recovery after COVID is a reality. We will exceed the 2019 pre-pandemic figures. We are ready to receive visitors, both nationals and international travelers” she said in an interview.
Meanwhile, the municipality has also seen state and federal law enforcement agencies step in to help combat violent crime in the area, a phenomenon that rarely affects tourists. After the murder of two Canadian citizens in late June, local tourism businesses called for more troops to patrol major tourist areas to prevent further escalation. Despite the alarming incident, state authorities have stressed that petty crime, such as pickpocketing, is the most common crime affecting tourists. With that being said, tourists should avoid walking alone outside at night, especially in dimly lit areas outside of popular touristy streets.
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