Saturday, May 18, 2024

Tourism authorities celebrate higher than expected Easter Week numbers

Holy Week tourist numbers exceeded expectations in some of Mexico’s most popular destinations, bringing much-needed revenue to businesses that have suffered during the past two years due to the pandemic-related economic and tourism downturn.

Authorities in Guerrero estimate that over 220,000 national and international tourists holidayed in the so-called Triángulo del Sol (Sun Triangle) between April 11 and and 17.

The region includes the coastal resorts of Acapulco and Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa and the colonial city of Taxco. Average hotel occupancy was 71% and tourists injected some 2.3 billion pesos (US $114.6 million) into the state economy, according to Guerrero authorities.

Tourism Minister Santos Ramírez Cuevas said that just over 166,000 tourists – three-quarters of the total – vacationed in Acapulco. He said that hotel occupancy in the Pacific coast city was 68.6%, while 58.4% of timeshare accommodation units and 50% of other vacation dwellings were occupied. The tourist-generated economic spillover was estimated at 1.91 billion, or over 80% of the Triángulo del Sol total.

The influx of visitors to Mazatlán, Sinaloa, was almost four times higher than the number who vacationed in Acapulco, Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa and Taxco, but tourists spent far less on average.

According to municipal authorities, a record high of approximately 800,000 people visited “The Pearl of the Pacific” during Holy Week and collectively spent 1.11 billion pesos (US $54.8 million). Based on those figures, tourists spent an average of 1,375 pesos (US $68) each, compared to 10,454 pesos (US $521) per person in Guerrero. That apparently indicates that tourists spent significantly less time in Mazatlán than they did in Triángulo del Sol destinations, perhaps because they couldn’t find anywhere to stay. Mazatlán authorities said hotel occupancy over the Easter weekend was 100%.

Los Cabos, located due west of Mazatlán on the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, welcomed over 100,000 tourists during the Easter vacation period, according to municipal tourism director Donna Jeffries. She said tourists spent an estimated 265 million pesos (US $13.2 million) into the local economy, or about 2,650 pesos (US $132) each.

Meanwhile, the Quintana Roo Tourism Ministry said that just under 1.18 million tourists were expected to visit the Caribbean coast state in an extended Easter vacation period that will end Sunday. Tourism-generated revenue is predicted to add up to US $972 million, which would be 67% higher than income during the same period of 2021. That figure equates to about US $820 per tourist. Quintana Roo is home to numerous tourism destinations including Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel and Isla Mujeres.

Veracruz authorities estimated that some 1 million tourists would visit the Gulf Coast state over the Easter vacation period and spend over 700 million pesos (US $34.9 million). But based on preliminary data from various Veracruz municipalities, tourism revenue is expected to be double that amount, the newspaper Milenio reported.

Farther north on the Gulf coast, over 90,000 tourists flocked to Miramar beach in Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas, on Good Friday. Some 1.3 million visitors arrived in the northern border state over Easter week, municipal and state authorities said.

Tourists from the United States – Mexico’s No. 1 market for international visitors – undoubtedly bolstered numbers in some destinations.

Citing information from the United States Department of Commerce, Tourism Minister Miguel Torruco said Monday that Mexico was the most popular international destination for U.S. travelers last year. Of all international trips undertaken by U.S. citizens in 2021, 58.4% were to Mexico, he said.

By contrast, only 4.3% of trips were to Canada, while 13% were to Caribbean countries; 10.7% to Europe; 5.3% to Central America; 3.1% to the Middle East; 2.9% to South America; 1.3% to Asia; 0.7% to Africa; and 0.1% to Oceania, Torruco said in a statement.

The tourism minister said that air arrivals to Mexico by U.S. citizens increased 100.9% last year to 10.07 million, just 0.3% short of the figure for 2019, when 10.1 million Americans flew into the country.

With reports from Milenio

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