Friday, June 21, 2024

September’s tourist numbers highest ever recorded at Cancún airport

Last month was the busiest September ever for arrivals at Cancún airport, a clear sign that the Caribbean coast resort city is recovering strongly from the pandemic-induced tourism downturn.

Just over 1.66 million passengers flew to Cancún last month, according to airport operator ASUR, a 94% spike compared to September last year and a 4.4% increase compared to the same month of 2019.

Just over 56% of the incoming passengers, or 933,000 people, arrived on international flights while just under 44%, or 728,000 people, flew in from other airports in Mexico.

While the numbers are encouraging, tourism consultancy firm GEMES believes that international arrivals could have been higher had two factors not deterred United States citizens from traveling to Mexico.

An increase in coronavirus cases in the United States changed people’s perceptions about the safety of travel and caused a significant number of travelers to cancel or postpone their plans to come to Mexico, according to GEMES.

Secondly, the opening up of Canada and European nations to United States tourists lured people to those destinations and away from Mexico, the firm said.

“… There is a strong appetite to return to Europe and other destinations in the United States market,” GEMES said.

“While travel restrictions were reimposed in September in some European countries, it is only a matter of time until they will be lifted again.”

Mexico has been an attractive destination for many international tourists because it hasn’t required incoming travelers to show a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination, or go into mandatory quarantine. The absence of restrictions was blamed for fueling coronavirus outbreaks in tourism hotspots such as Cancún and Los Cabos earlier in the pandemic.

However, the coronavirus situation in Quintana Roo – the state where Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel and other popular tourism destinations are located – has improved markedly in recent weeks and it is now low risk green on the federal government’s coronavirus stoplight map. There are just 545 active cases in the state, the federal Health Ministry reported Tuesday.

The sargassum situation has also recently improved after large amounts of the seaweed reached Quintana Roo’s coastline earlier this year. A map published Tuesday by the Quintana Roo Sargassum Monitoring Network showed that there are no beaches with excessive amounts of the weed and just six with abundant quantities.

Twelve beaches have moderate amounts, 47 have only very low quantities and 15 are completely free of sargassum.

With reports from El Universal 

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