Known for its relaxed ambiance, spectacular coral reefs, and stunning beaches, Cozumel stands out as one of the top Mexican Caribbean hotspots.
And now, the island’s charm is set to attract Americans once again with the revival of direct flights after air connectivity came to a screeching halt during the pandemic.
Pablo Aguilar, a representative of the Quintana Roo Tourism Promotion Council in Cozumel, announced upcoming direct flights from Canada and the US for the winter season.
This strengthened connectivity will bring back routes from Atlanta and Minneapolis with Delta Airlines for the US. Canadians will be able to get to Cozumel from Toronto and Montreal with Air Canada and WestJet, respectively.
Additionally, domestic connectivity will also witness a boost, with new flights from major Mexican cities, including Guadalajara and Monterrey.
A Slow But Steady Recovery
During the pandemic, Cozumel’s tourism sector was severely affected, with a drastic reduction in flight availability.
But the major blow to the island’s economy came from the cancellation of cruise arrivals, which accounted for 67% of the island’s tourism in 2019.
The effects of the pandemic were so devastating that 50% of travel agencies in Cozumel went bankrupt, leaving hundreds unemployed.
The first signs of recovery came in June 2020, when combined efforts of the government and private initiatives helped reopen Cozumel for tourism, drawing more than 78,000 visitors to the island by September.
In the fall of 2020, American Airlines reinstated their flights from Miami and Charlotte and United from Houston.
As travel restrictions loosened during the following months, more and more travelers flocked to Cozumel – a testament to this paradise’s undeniable allure.
Cozumel’s Swift Comeback
In 2022, Cozumel airport experienced a growth of 25.7%, receiving a total of 62,319 visitors during August and surpassing the numbers of 2019.
And this positive trend is expected to continue this year.
The reintroduction of Delta’s direct flights this winter only showcases Cozumel’s growing popularity among American travelers and the unwavering commitment of the tourism sector to provide an unparalleled Mexican Caribbean experience.
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Bernardo Cueto Riestra, the State Secretary of Tourism (Sedetur), attributed the reintroduction of these new routes to the tourism promotion efforts, high-quality services, and natural beauty of the idyllic island.
He stated: “This increase in connections underlines the importance and attractiveness of Cozumel as one of the most desired beach destinations”
“These results are a positive bet of the airlines for the destinations of the Mexican Caribbean and reinforce our commitment to continue offering the best of Mexican tourism to the world,” Cueto added.
More Than A Cruise Ship Port
While Cozumel’s tourism landscape was heavily reliant on the cruise ship industry during the last few decades, things are changing.
A tourist and entertainment district has been built in the island’s center, where you can find amazing hotels, restaurants, bars, boutiques, and stores selling crafts and jewelry. Beautiful murals painted by foreign artists line the city’s streets.
Earlier this year, Cozumel earned the coveted title of Magical Town (Pueblo Mágico). This recognition is given by the Mexican Secretary Of Tourism to destinations with unique cultural, natural and historical significance.
With this prestigious designation, Cozumel’s tourism sector is expected to skyrocket, improving the already exceptional quality of services and enhancing the island’s tourism attractions.
Moreover, Cozumel’s wide array of natural wonders, laid-back atmosphere, and reputation as one of the safest areas in the Mexican Caribbean has positioned it as a premier hotspot in the region.
A recent study by Airbnb revealed the top Mexican Caribbean destinations this summer based on user reviews, with Cozumel coming out on top.
And with Delta Airlines reintroducing direct flights, visiting this paradisiacal island will be easier than ever for American travelers.
Delta’s renewed flights to Cozumel will start from Atlanta on November 5, 2023, with seven flights a week.
Flights from Minneapolis will begin to operate on December 12, 2023, with flights on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
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