Los Cabos Tourism Board has announced a record 13 percent growth in domestic and international visitors during the first quarter of 2022, a surge fueled largely by the destination’s swift response to the pandemic and strict health and safety protocols enforced over the past two years. In 2021, Los Cabos welcomed an approximate 2.8 million travelers achieving a complete recovery of its tourism activity. In March 2022, the destination recorded nearly 325,000 tourist arrivals, with a record increase of 18 percent in arrivals when compared to 2019.
Los Cabos’ business model combining private and public funding allowed the destination to focus on the implementation of state-wide safety measures, heighten its health and security protocols, and enhance its marketing and communication strategy to keep visitors, consumers, industry partners and the local community informed throughout the destination’s phased recovery. The strategic approach led to a significant surge in demand, especially from affluent travelers, which has cemented Los Cabos’ position as Mexico’s popular travel destination.
The U.S. is Los Cabos’ top priority market and American travelers represented about 98 percent of all international travelers that visited Los Cabos in 2021, defying national trends by driving a 5.4 percent growth in visitation from the market. The growth in tourist arrivals led to an expansion of the Los Cabos International Airport, which will increase connectivity with the U.S. by 30 percent to accommodate the steady demand of American travelers. Los Cabos has over 500 weekly flights connecting 26 cities in the U.S. with the destination. A projected growth of 1.3 million seats is expected to be added during the first half of 2022.
Los Cabos Tourism Board forecasts bookings to the destination will remain strong during the spring travel season, with a projected increase of 11 percent in anticipated bookings for the month of April, 22 percent in May and 10 percent in June.
The destination welcomed over 325,000 travelers in March 2022, a record visitation representing an 18 percent increase when compared to 2019. There was 70 percent average hotel occupancy in Q1 of 2022, with an average hotel daily rate of $455, the highest in Mexico. The destination saw a 5.4 percent increase of U.S. travelers in 2021 when compared to 2019, surpassing arrivals of international travelers nationwide and leading the recovery of international travel. There was a 31.6 percent projected increase in seats to Los Cabos from the U.S. over the next six months when compared to 2019. Air connectivity is increasing mainly from Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, Denver and New York.
Los Cabos witnessed close to 80 percent growth in arrivals of international travelers via private aviation in 2021 when compared to 2019, representing 26 percent of all air travel activity. Interestingly, 98 percent of all international travelers come from the U.S., Los Cabos’ priority market.
Along with this impressive growth, residents report a change for the better. In a recent report, 58 percent of Los Cabos residents believe that with the tourist growth of the past five years, there is greater awareness in the care of the environment, and 54 percent report more protection of natural resources and regulation on the subject.
This response comes as two new funding measures were announced: The Environmental Sanitation Tax and the Embrace It Contribution. The Environmental Sanitation Tax, led by the municipality of Baja California Sur, calls for approximately $1.69 daily per room, to be collected from visitors by hotels, timeshares and lodging facilities across the destinations. The funding is set to go into effect on June 1, and will support government investment on environmental infrastructure, sustainability practices, and safety and security, among other projects.
Additionally, the reinstatement of the Embrace It Contribution went into effect earlier this year. Initially launched in 2019 under the name Fund for a Sustainable Baja Sur, the program was paused in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was reintroduced in February 2022 as the Embrace It Contribution. All international travelers visiting the state of Baja California Sur for more than 24 hours are asked to contribute approximately $20 to support key initiatives needed to support statewide infrastructure, social projects and the overall economic progress of the people that live and work in Los Cabos. Contributions can be made via the state’s website or at the kiosks installed at SJD International Airport.
For more information, go to visitloscabos.travel.