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Should Tourists Be Concerned About Increasing Blackouts In The Mexican Caribbean?

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Blackouts have been a recurring issue across several popular Mexican Caribbean hotspots this summer, and despite reassurance that the power supply issue would be fixed, the problem continues to deteriorate.

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As frustration grows amid what appears to be inaction by state regulators, hospitality businesses are calling for urgent measures to tackle the emerging energy crisis.

With that in mind, just how worried should travelers be about their next Mexican Caribbean getaway?

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Power Cuts Leave Growing Number Of Travelers In The Dark

Soaring demand, record heat, and disarray in the electrical supply grid are just a few of the many factors leading to widespread blackouts in resort hotspots like Isla Mujeres and Cozumel.

While previously mainly affecting island destinations, blackouts are now being reported in mainland destinations like Cancun and Tulum, potentially disrupting travel plans and forcing resorts to implement the use of generators as well as other exceptional measures. 

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man working on power cable

Meanwhile, the number of travelers that flock to the Mexican Caribbean is expected to skyrocket later on this year, adding pressure to the region’s delicate power grid. 

As a result, a number of hospitality organizations, including the Hotel and Tourism Services of Central and Southern Quintana Roo, are urging officials to take more decisive measures to prevent the situation from further deteriorating. 

While larger destinations like Cancun and Playa del Carmen are expected to be able to cope with the situation thanks to newer and more resilient infrastructure, smaller destinations are more likely to be hit by power cuts.

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According to recent estimates, destinations like Bacalar, Mahahual, and Felipe Carillo Puerto are expected to see a spike in electricity demand. Aging infrastructure and the official launching of the Maya Train are also adding fuel to the fire as authorities scramble to assure stakeholders that power will continue reaching consumers, especially travelers.

Cancun International Airport Among Latest To Be Affected By Power Cuts

Thousands of travelers were affected by power cuts which temporarily halted airport operations at Cancun International Airport last week. The alarming situation is the latest in a string of incidents regarding energy supply.

Despite lasting just several minutes, recent blackouts have disrupted the airport’s three main terminals, forcing the airport to deploy secondary supply systems to maintain critical operations. 

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But as the risk of more blackouts grows, time is of the essence for Quintana Roo’s energy industry. With a record number of travelers expected to visit the sun-soaked region this winter, officials have just a few months to ensure a seamless experience for millions of visitors this year. 

In 2022, Cancun’s international airport welcomed over 30 million travelers and set a new all-time record for passenger movement. 

Follow These Important Tips Before Booking

While the number of blackouts may be growing, travelers can still look forward to a hassle-free vacation in Cancun – for now. Most resorts and large hotels have protocols in place to deal with blackouts, ensuring that guests can remain connected to Wifi or turn on the AC.

A street in cancun at night with neon lights

However, travelers staying in an online rental in places like Bacalar or Mahahual – which have seen their popularity skyrocket thanks to the growing online vacation rental market – should prepare themselves for longer blackouts. 

Blackouts in the region can last anywhere from several minutes up to several hours, so travelers should pack power banks in order to stay connected. Avoid spending time outside during a blackout, especially at night, as mobile networks may stop working. 

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Other factors, such as weather, can also increase the likelihood of blackouts, although several new upgrades to existing generators this fall are expected to bolster supply.

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