After a highly successful 2023, the Mexican Caribbean’s tourism sector is gearing toward another potentially record-breaking year.
In the first week of 2024, three Mexican Caribbean hotspots stood out with the highest occupancy levels among nationwide beach destinations, according to data from Sectur, the Mexican Secretary of Tourism.
One would expect Cancun, the region’s crown jewel, to top the list, yet it surprisingly secured the fourth spot in Sectur’s monitoring of hotel occupancy levels at beach hotspots.
Playacar takes the lead with an impressive 83.5%, followed by Akumal with 81.2%, and Cancun with a still respectable 74.9%.
The data also unveils a 66% occupancy rate in beachfront areas for the first 11 months of 2023, showing a 0.7% increase from the same period in 2022.
Of course, Cancun remains the main gateway to the Mexican Caribbean, with Cancun International Airport servicing 134 cities in 30 countries and handling 33.7 million passengers in 2023.
Cancun trip♬ original sound – jayden
This might change in the future, though, as the new Tulum Airport gains momentum, opening up new international routes and flight frequencies.
Meanwhile, let’s take a closer look at the reasons why these three destinations in particular are trending with travelers as 2024 unfolds.
Many assume that the name ‘Playacar’ is simply shorthand for the highly popular Playa del Carmen – but that’s not quite the case.
Yes, Playacar is in Playa del Carmen, but it constitutes a different, more exclusive part of the city. You can think of it as Playa del Carmen’s hotel zone.
@perlaavila57 One of my favorite resorts in Playacar. Thank you Sandos playacar for the amazing memories you provided us with!! Amazing place for the kiddos 🌊🌴👙#sandosplayacar #allinclusiveresort #playadelcarmen #travelingwithkids #amazingresort #eliteclubmember #fyp #sandosresorts #makingmemories ♬ Talk It Over – Elderbrook & Vintage Culture
However, Playacar itself is actually composed of two different sections: Phase I and Phase II.
Don’t let this rather convoluted arrangement distract you from the fact that Playacar stands at the heart of the Mexican Caribbean’s luxury travel boom.
The first Phase is an upscale residential area with lavish properties and apartments, near the Quinta Avenida.
The second Phase is where you’ll find all of the 5-star all-inclusives and other luxurious accommodations, not to mention its world-class golf course designed by the renowned architect Robert von Hagge.
@aonewayticket CHECKING IN: Playacar Palace in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico 🇲🇽 #tiktoktravel #travel2020 #luxuryhotels #beautifulhotels #luxurytravels #playadelcarmen ♬ original sound – aonewayticket
When you add Playcar’s gorgeous, expansive beaches and lush jungles to the mix, you begin to understand why travelers can’t get enough of this splendid paradise.
This charming beach town near Tulum skyrocketed in popularity in 2023, captivating millions with its perfect combination of pristine nature and exclusive resorts.
What’s more impressive is that despite its soaring success, Akumal’s natural beauty remains unspoiled.
So much so that you can find green sea turtles grazing on seaweed just meters offshore of Akumal Bay, which has, in fact, become one of the town’s top attractions.
And it’s not just turtles you’ll encounter here, as Akumal’s treasure trove of natural wonders, including lagoons, numerous cenotes, caverns, and coral reefs, are all brimming with biodiversity.
You can enjoy all of this natural splendor and much more at one of Akumal’s top-rated accommodation options, which range from quaint eco-resorts to lavish 5-star all-inclusives.
While Cancun may not flaunt hotel occupancy rates exceeding 80% like Playacar and Akumal, that doesn’t mean this iconic destination isn’t as popular as ever.
And with a staggering 45,000 rooms, it’s also worth noting that Cancun has a significantly higher room count compared to these two hotspots.
Furthermore, the close of 2023 marked a record-breaking season for Cancun, reporting hotel occupancy rates surpassing 90%.
Despite the conclusion of the holiday season, the destination’s commendable tourism results are not expected to wane soon.
Cancun Mayor Ana Paty Peralta emphasized Cancun Airport’s 33.7 million passenger record in 2023 as “clear evidence of [Cancun’s] competitive success.”
Meanwhile, it remains a favorite for travelers seeking experiences marked by luxury, nature, culture, nightlife, and just plain fun.
Plan Your Next Cancun Vacation:
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
Choose From Thousands of Cancun and Riviera Maya Hotels, Resorts and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
↓ Join the community ↓
The Cancun Sun Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations and tourism Q&A’s for the Mexican Caribbean
Subscribe to our Latest Posts
Enter your email address to subscribe to The Cancun Sun’s latest breaking news affecting travelers, straight to your inbox.