Cancun Airport, one of the busiest commercial hubs in Mexico, is working on strategies to improve border control for foreign travelers arriving at the pea of its tourist season. Recently, increasing demand for the resort-capital of North America has caused vacationers to wait longer in line once landing.
Cancun is by far the country’s leading destination in the Riviera Maya, with its miles-long Caribbean coastline famous around the world, numerous luxurious tourist complexes, and vibrant nightlife unlike anywhere in Mexico. The flip side of the city’s popularity, however, is its ability to cater to rising demands seems to have been affected.
Quintana Roo Authorities Aware Of Bottlenecks At Border Control
Bernardo Cueto Riestra, the newly-appointed appointed Tourism Secretary for the state of Quintana Roo, has confirmed his team has been “fine-tuning” strategies to streamline processing times at the borders, and particularly at Cancun Airport, known to be a busy gong-show.
As stated by Riestra, in order for visitor service to be improved, “greater coordination is needed” between the state government and local authorities overseeing activities in Cancun International Airport.
After all, Mexico as a whole is close to claiming the title of most visited country in the world in the post-pandemic era, with Cancun being at the forefront of its tourism campaign.
The city’s recent success story is conversely tainted by reports of bottlenecks at airports and stark warnings issued by the U.S. Consulate General in Merida against travel to the city. Besides chaotic scenes at the regional airport, doubts have been raised regarding security in tourist areas, with re-ignited gang activity making the headlines once again.
According to Riestra, tourism officials are becoming more involved with ASUR, Cancun Airport’s managing company, as well as immigration, customs and security authorities to tackle the current issues.
As Riestra points out, Mexico makes “a lot of effort to attract visitors“, so once they are there, the priority is to “make them feel good” from the moment they arrive.
The tourism leader has also reaffirmed his commitment to fast-track migration processes and solve other airport operation issues, citing assistance from Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Avoiding the infamous bottlenecks at arrival halls seems to be at the core of high-level conversations.
Mexico is well aware traveler confidence is more important than ever for destinations heavily dependent on tourists, and especially American visitors, who have continued to flock into the country due to its open border approach and lack of restrictions.
Riestra himself concedes that the immigration service is markedly important, considering it is the “first impression” foreign tourists have when arriving in the country.
What Should Foreign Visitors Expect When Arriving At Cancun Airport?
While reducing the long processing times at Cancun Airport is already a prime concern for Quintana Roo authorities, the fact that some travelers visiting Mexico are no longer guaranteed a 180-day entry stamp has not been addressed in these latest statements.
In the last few months, several travelers have reported they are being granted 30 days or, at times, even shorter visitor permits when crossing into Mexico.
While the Mexican National Immigration Institute (INM) states the permit-holder is allowed to be in the country for tourism or business purposes for up to 180 days, it is still up to border agents to assess each visitor’s profile and define how long they are permitted to stay.
This means American and Canadian travelers vacationing soon in Mexico must make sure they check their entry stamps to confirm the actual amount of time they are allowed to remain in the national territory. Overstaying a tourist visa anywhere will normally entail hefty fines when leaving or, in extreme situations, difficulties returning or even entry bans.
Currently, all categories of travelers are allowed to enter Mexico as tourists, including vaccinated and non-vaccinated U.S. citizens. Pre-departure Covid testing is also not required, and as of January 1, 2022, travelers no longer need to complete the Vuela Seguro form when visiting Mexico.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Thursday 3rd of February 2022
INM really need to increase staffing - 1 to 2 hour waits (even at 7AM) at MEX airport too