Strong European Tourism As Spanish Abandon Their Own Beaches For The Mexican Caribbean
New data suggests that Spain is the biggest European market for Cancun, pulling in close to one hundred thousand tourists a year. The news comes as new flights were just added between Barcelona and Cancun.
Spain was already emerging as the main source of European tourists for Quintana Roo before the pandemic, but trends now suggest that the market is making a comeback and even growing more than anticipated. The fact is bolstered by the addition of the new flights from Iberojet.
Spain’s dominance on the list is particularly interesting, as the country has a sun-drenched coast of its own that draws millions from across Europe. The Spanish are never more than an hour’s flight from a stunning beach town, making the increased attention all the more impressive for Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean. Barcelona itself has a multitude of Mediterranean beaches for its residents to enjoy.
In 2021, Spain sent double the amount of tourists that its European neighbors did. Countries like the Netherlands and Italy sent considerably fewer tourists and may have even sent their own tourists to Spain instead.
Cracking the European market is a major goal for the Mexican Caribbean. North American tourists, and the United States, in particular, dominate the tourist numbers for the region. Millions of tourists from the United States flood into Cancun every year and have been doing so for decades. The Europeans, on the other hand, have been more reluctant to make the jump.
Although there has always been a loyal contingent making the trip, the longer flight time is a tough trade-off when the beaches of the Caribbean are within four hours, regardless of where in Europe someone is found.
But the pandemic may have been the key to shifting interest across the Atlantic. While Europe’s major hotspots shut up shop for the best part of two years, with some still enforcing restrictions, Cancun and the rest of Mexico remained open for all. The lack of options exposed many Europeans to the Mexican Caribbean, and for many, it may be a new favorite.
The British are shifting their own attention in wake of Brexit. After the United Kingdom left the European Union, many are now faced with significant barriers to their vacations. Although most of the problems will be resolved in the near future, the ease with which they could once hop across to Spain has been forever changed, and the prices in Mexico may be more attractive.
Cancun continues to add more flights from across the world, turning its airport into one of the most connected in the world despite its comparatively smaller size. The airport is projected to have 136 routes to the same number of cities by the end of the year, a staggering figure for the little airport.
The addition of Tulum’s new airport in 2024 will only open more avenues for the region. The hub is anticipated to take as many as four million passengers a year, building on Cancun’s 13 million. Work is also being done on the smaller Cozumel airport, which adds a few hundred thousand visitors a year to the figures.
The new flights from Barcelona are set to run twice a week, on Sunday and Tuesday, on an Airbus 330-300 which can carry around 375 passengers per flight. This adds to the flights already running from Madrid and other areas of Spain.
On top of this, the UK now has flights from every corner of the corner, not just London. Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Sheffield all have regular flights servicing everyone in the country on a much more convenient basis.
Flights are only anticipated to grow as the summer season is in full swing, and even as Covid cases begin to rise once again, there doesn’t appear to be anything stopping the momentum.
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