Acapulco Ends Holiday Season With Increased Visitors Despite Increase in Violence

Beach in Acapulco Mexico
Photo by LisaStrachan/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Acapulco has reported an increase in visitors during the 2017 holiday season, spanning from December 20 to January 7, with 573,000 tourists and a hotel occupancy averaging 81.4 percent. Three major cruises and three nonstop international flights during this period facilitated access for international arrivals. Additionally, Acapulco received 40 percent more visitors in all of 2017 when compared to 2016. 

The increase in travelers was aided by the arrival of three major cruises during this period: The Sirena, from Oceania Cruises; the MS Europa from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises; and the Norwegian Star, from Norwegian Cruise Line. These ships brought a combined 3,000-plus passengers. The Acapulco International Airport also had three nonstop routes over the holidays: Air Transat continues to have a winter flight every Tuesday from December through March from Montreal to Acapulco; Sunwing inaugurated a weekly flight from Montreal to Acapulco and added a new route from Toronto; and Volaris inaugurated a non-stop service from Los Angeles International Airport that will run all year long. 

Moreover, approximately 1,360,000 tourists visited the state of Guerrero in 2017 during the holiday season, an increase of more than 117,000 tourists when compared to the 2016 season. These numbers translate into a high occupancy rate for the state: 80.9 percent during 2017 versus 76.3 percent in 2016. Millions of dollars more flowed into the local economy, with 219 million U.S. dollars in total tourist spend for the 2017 holiday season, an increase over the 209 million U.S. dollars during the same period in 2016. 

Although the final figures for 2017 are not out yet, the secretary of tourism released preliminary numbers stating that Guerrero State experienced about 700,000 additional tourists in 2017 (representing an increase of 40 percent over 2016), according to initial figures reported by Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte (OMA), which oversees operation of international airports in Guerrero and Administracion Portuaria Integral Acapulco (API), which administers Acapulco’s port.  

These numbers come despite an increase in violence recently. Several weeks ago, Travel Agent covered a series of shootouts that killed 18 people, including community police, near Acapulco and Los Cabos. Due to repeated gang-related incidents, the U.S. State Department has given Acapulco a Level 4 advisory in its latest travel advisories. 

"Do not travel due to crime. Armed groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and may use violence towards travelers.

"U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to the entire state of Guerrero, including Acapulco," it reads. 

This yearm Acapulco will host a variety of international events such as the Mexican Tennis Open, the Powerade Surf Open and the ISSF World Cup.

With the support of the government, Acapulco created its Tourist Assistance and Protection Center (CAPTA, in Spanish) to provide local and international tourists a place where they can ask questions, obtain information, report any incidents and receive assistance. 

For more information on Acapulco, visit www.visitacapulco.travel.

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