Mexico’s State of Yucatán is reporting a strong start to the year in terms of tourism. According to the latest numbers from the state’s official tourism organization, the state saw an overall growth of 13.5 percent during the first four months of the year and 27 percent for April. Additionally, May was the best month for arrivals at the Mérida International Airport in its 50 years of history.
Secretary of Tourism Development for the State of Yucatán Michelle Fridman Hirsch announced the new statistics as part of an update on the work by her administration to promote tourism to the state. As Fridman told Travel Agent in a recent interview, the destination has been looking to promote itself as a destination in its own right, distinct from its more famous neighbors in Campeche and Quintana Roo. Cultural tourism, including a new program that will take travelers into Mayan villages, is a key focus.
In its latest update the Yucatan Tourism Board (SEFOTUR) said that, as of the end of 2018, the state had seen an average increase of 12.6 percent in overnight visitors. International tourism was up 35.9 percent.
During the first four months of 2019, the state registered an increase of 90,000 tourists and 51,000 new seats on airline routes. Hector Navarrete Muñoz, director of Aeropuertos del Sureste (ASUR), which operates the Mérida International Airport, said that the airport reached 16.41 percent growth in April and 18.25 percent in May, the highest in the airport’s history.
Additionally, the state saw a 27 percent increase in the arrival of cvisitors with overnight stays in April.
Regarding hotel occupancy, the state has recorded increases every month, despite a 2.4 percent increase in the number of rooms available. The destination is also promoting its MICE sector under the Yucatán Meetings brand, and it has seen 31.9 percent growth in the meetings segment this year over 2018.