Major Travel Surge in Cancun – Here’s What’s on the Horizon

Sun shining down on a beach between cliffs in Cancun Mexico
Photo by goglik83/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Along with a recorded year-to-year increase in visitors, Cancun and its surrounding area have reported a number of recent and upcoming developments including new resorts, changes in tourism trends, and sustainability initiatives.

Travel Surge in Cancun

Cancun continues to see an increase in visitors despite short-term travel alerts, Riviera Maya News reports. The Easter holiday season saw several resort towns sold out with the Cancun International Airport reporting a spike in visitor numbers.

Airport authorities say that during the month of March, 2.8 million visitors landed at Cancun International, a 14.5 percent increase over March of 2017, according to Riviera Maya News. The increase does not reflect only national visitors, but shows an increase in international tourists. 

According to Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, the Cancun airport says that of the 2.08 million passengers in March, 1.56 million were international visitors arriving for vacation. Statistics from the Ministry of Communication and Transportation show residents of Toronto and Chicago visit Cancun the most, followed by New York and Montreal.

For the Easter season in March, surrounding resort towns and cities reported a 100 percent hotel occupancy. The resort towns of Holbox, Bacalar and Mahahual reported being fully booked during the Easter season. Cancun and places along Riviera Maya averaged a 90 percent occupancy rate, with busy Cancun beaches reporting a tourist flow of between 3,000 and 5,000 per day.

Director of Tourism for Riviera Maya, Darío Flota Ocampo, told Riviera Maya News that virtually all the 100,000 hotel rooms offered by Quintana Roo were occupied with a significant influx of visitors from Canada and the United States, as well as from South America and Europe.

Several airlines have increased their routes to Cancun for the upcoming summer season, including Sun Country who have announced additional direct flights to Cancun starting June 15.

Haven Resorts Cancun

In hotel news, Hipotels has announced the construction of the adults-only Haven Resorts Cancun, set to open in September 2018. The new Haven Resorts Cancun project will be constructed between Cancun and Riviera Maya, approximately nine miles from the Cancun International Airport.

Haven Resorts Cancun will offer guests 333 rooms, 24-hour concierge, five restaurants, two snack bars and a total of nine bars and a spa service. Two of the bars will be swim-up. Guests can choose from many different suite accommodations, each with amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi, personalized drink menus, champagne breakfast, private terraces, and spa treatments.

Dining experiences at the resort will range from casual Mexican fare in the all-day eatery, Flavours at Haven, to a “multi-sensory” culinary experience at the resort’s Asian Fusion restaurant, Satsu.

Haven Resorts Cancun will also be a venue for romantic occasions like weddings, honeymoons, or anniversaries. If couples schedule a wedding with the resort, Haven Resorts Cancun will provide exclusive wedding group rates, all-inclusive pricing for planning purposes, a certified wedding planner onsite, a wedding showroom, planning assistance for off-site wedding party outings, recreational activities and local tours; customizable catering menus, and a luxury Bridal Spa Suite.

For meetings and events, the resort will have indoor and outdoor spaces with complimentary Wi-FI, planning assistance for off-site group excursions, recreational activities or team building outings; around-the-clock concierge service, and available dining seating for all guests at full hotel capacity.

Tulum Ruins Surpass Chichen Itzá

In other news in the surrounding area of Cancun, Riviera Maya News reports that the Tulum ruins are now the second most visited site in Mexico in 2018, surpassing Chichén Itzá in number of visitors for the first two months of this year.

Adriana Velázquez Morlette, of the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Quintana Roo, told Riviera Maya News that between January and February, Tulum received 205,360 visitors, a figure only surpassed by Teotihuacán, in the State of Mexico. In the same period, Chichen Itza received 195,312 visitors, more than 10,000 fewer visitors than Tulum.

According to the head of the INAH in Quintana Roo, Tulum has been slowly edging out Chichén Itzá as the second most visited archaeological site in the country, noting last year that both sites finished with similar numbers.

It wasn’t until the first two months of 2018 that figures show Tulum had surpassed Chichén Itzá. Velázquez Morlette says one reason more people are choosing Tulum is distance. Tourists in Cancun are choosing to visit Tulum rather than travel the extra distance to Chichén Itzá.

Tulum and Isla Mujeres Work Toward Sustainability

Regional government associations are pushing for Tulum and Isla Mujeres to become Zones of Sustainable Tourism Development, according to Riviera Maya News

Representatives from the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR), the National Fund for Tourism Promotion (FONATUR), the State Secretariat of Tourism (SEDETUR) and the municipalities of Tulum and Isla Mujeres, are taking the steps to declare the two regions as sustainable in order to preserve their “richness and natural beauty,” Riviera Maya News reports.

According to SEDETUR, the Sustainable Tourism Development Zones are a recognized figure in the General Tourism Law (2006), but there is no precedent of declaration in any state, which for Quintana Roo, represents the possibility of being the first to conserve the natural resources.

The National Population Council estimates that over the past eight years, Tulum has grown by 24 percent, while Isla Mujeres has expanded by 22 percent. According to state officials, the Zones of Sustainable Tourism Development must have an active tourism industry, have attractions that are currently used and can continue to be used in the future. In addition, they meet the criteria for sustainability, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in their planning and operation to consolidate tourism activity as a source of quality employment, investment, training and development to improve the standard of living.

SEDETUR said the team has held working meetings with representatives of city councils and field work for the collection of information that provides the technical information necessary to obtain the new declaration.

The declaration is issued based on the provisions of the Regulation of the General Tourism Law and in accordance with the evaluation and opinion of the committee composed of the Ministry of Tourism, the Government Secretariat, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Communications and Transportation and the Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development.

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