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Why This Will Be The Busiest Year On Record For Cancun Tourists

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It’s been over five decades since a computer algorithm developed by the Mexican Government selected Cancun as the country’s next tourist hotspot.

To say that the algorithm totally nailed it would be an understatement.

Cancun resort overlooking beach

Once a barely developed fishing village infested with snakes – yes, ‘Kankun’ is Maya for ‘nest of snakes’ – the town has since evolved into a (mostly snakeless) worldwide tourism phenomenon, drawing millions to its sunny shores each year.

And this upward trend shows no signs of slowing, as estimates place average hotel occupancy levels in 2023 at 83%, a historical record that was last broken in 2022 at 80%.

Moreover, not only is Cancun International Airport reporting a 9.9% increase in visitor numbers compared to last year, but it’s also currently the busiest airport in the wider Caribbean.

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Cancun’s remarkable tourism growth has much to do with the government’s efforts to promote the destination worldwide, as stated by Juan Pablo de Zulueta Razo, Secretary of Tourism of the Benito Juárez municipality.

However, there are more factors that have significantly contributed to this Mexican Caribbean hotspot’s massive success.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

Ever-Growing Top-Notch Hospitality

Cancun’s hospitality scene has garnered a reputation as one of the world’s finest – and it’s easy to see why.

The city’s iconic Hotel Zone is home to over 100 resorts, which range from ultra-luxurious all-inclusives to wallet-friendly boutiques.

Still, regardless of which option you choose, you can always expect top-notch service and a stunning Caribbean beachfront.

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Needless to say, this array of excellent resorts is one of the main reasons travelers keep flocking to this Caribbean paradise.

In addition, 15 new hotels were opened both in the Hotel Zone and downtown Cancun this year, accounting for 1,914 more rooms compared to 2022.

And with more hospitality projects in the works, Cancun is prepared to welcome the increasing number of travelers seeking the perfect Caribbean getaway.

Improved Connectivity & Infrastructure

The current massive infrastructure development Cancun is currently experiencing goes beyond just resorts. 

Recently, the state and municipal governments joined forces to install public high-speed internet hotspots at Playa Delfines and Kilometer Zero of the Kukulcan boulevard, with plans for more access points to be set up at strategic locations in the near future.

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Construction of the brand-new Nichupté bridge, which will connect downtown Cancun with the tourist corridor, is already underway. 

This crucial infrastructure project aims to enhance transportation for travelers, reducing the often slow traffic that affects the Hotel Zone and the Colosio Boulevard, which has recently undergone renovations as well.

Furthermore, the long-neglected Tajamar Boardwalk, a promenade overlooking the Nichupté Lagoon, is also being revamped, with the goal of transforming it into one of Cancun’s top tourist attractions.

cancun hotel zone from airplane window

Last but not least, the increasing connectivity of Cancun’s International Airport, especially with the US – currently offering nonstop flights from 40 US cities – can’t be ignored as one of the main factors driving the destination’s skyrocketing popularity.

Emerging Nearby Tourist Hotspots

Cancun remains the top attraction in the Mexican Caribbean, and it’s safe to say that this is unlikely to change in the near future.

However, once lesser-known destinations near Cancun, such as Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Bacalar, and Cozumel are increasingly drawing in visitors.

beach lagoon in Bacalar with walkway to the ocean

That’s right, more and more travelers are venturing beyond their comfy all-inclusives to explore the myriad of attractions the Mexican Caribbean has to offer.

Whether you’re looking for secluded coastlines, cenotes hidden in lush jungles, fascinating Mayan ruins, or opportunities for shopping, fine dining, or a lively night out, these diverse attractions are just a short drive away.

Moreover, with the upcoming arrival of the Maya Train, arguably one of the most ambitious undertakings by the Mexican government in recent years, this trend is likely to skyrocket.

the new maya train tracks in the Mexican caribbean

When this project materializes, it will provide visitors with access not only to the main tourist hotspots but also to an array of cultural and natural attractions.

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