As travel numbers explode, Playa del Carmen is quickly becoming one of the most popular resort destinations in the Mexican Caribbean.
So much so that some analysts say the coastal town will no longer have a low season.
Known for its downtown area teeming with culture, food, and life, as well as its array of soft white-sand beaches, Playa del Carmen is as diverse as it is beautiful.
Here’s why this Caribbean hotspot is seeing popularity soar among travelers in 2023:
With Popularity Growing, Low Season Could Become A Thing Of The Past
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Playa del Carmen was already a highly sought-after resort destination. Since then, arrival figures have increased steadily, reaching a new high this year.
Hotel occupancy rates in the coastal destination regularly reach well above 85%, with some areas selling out faster than ever before.
While the city is a great choice for resort stays, it’s also full of smaller boutique establishments as well as vacation rentals.
According to new estimates published last week by one of the city’s main tourism organizations, Playa del Carmen’s soaring popularity is making it a year-round destination for travelers.
As a result, the phenomenon of a distinctly cheaper low season is gradually becoming a thing of the past.
In previous years, travelers looking for a bargain on resorts could fly to the Mexican Caribbean between June to November, when humidity rises, and fewer international travelers frequent the destination.
Playa del Carmen and the Mexican Caribbean are gearing up for a record-breaking 2023, which is largely expected to be even busier than last year when over 19 million tourists stepped foot in the sun-soaked region.
As a result, hotel rates are rising across the board, despite new openings and investments in the region’s ever-growing hospitality industry.
@heecmart De noche la quinta avenida en Playa del Carmen es hermosa ✨ #mexico #playadelcarmen #quintaavenida #quintaavenidaplayadelcarmen #playa #travel ♬ sonido original – FacundoOliva
According to Carlos Jiménez, director of Playa del Carmen’s tourism promotion agency, occupancy rates would typically drop following the Easter holidays.
That’s not the case this year, and officials predict resorts will remain relatively full even after the busy period.
“We’ve seen occupancy rates of around 90% during Easter, and even though they will dip slightly, they will hover in the 70%-75% range for the entire year,” the executive said in a statement.
Playa del Carmen Spruces Up Downtown area
One of the most popular attractions in Playa del Carmen is its downtown area, home to the lion’s share of the city’s main restaurants, bars, and museums.
Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) is the beating heart of Playa del Carmen’s downtown area, running parallel to the town’s coastline.
After completing the first stages of a massive overhaul last year, officials are currently working on further improving the quality of life for travelers by adding new benches, repainting buildings, and implementing sweeping cosmetic changes.
The ongoing work is expected to be complete later this year, and travelers can already enjoy a much-improved Fifth Avenue.
In addition to vastly upgrading some of the city’s most touristy areas, Playa del Carmen has invested heavily in improving security and safety.
Although the city is one of the safest in the region, recent U.S. travel warnings have prompted authorities to step up security efforts to protect travelers.
Among other things, more troops have been deployed to patrol busy streets, and officials have installed cameras at busy access points to deter criminal activity.
Sargassum seaweed remains a major issue for Playa del Carmen, and the macroalgae typically affects the seaside city more than other Mexican Caribbean destinations.
Still, officials hope that by investing in new anti-sargassum technology, travelers can enjoy picture-perfect beaches this year.
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