Proving it has risen from the ashes of Covid as one of the world’s top destinations, Cancun is close to selling out this winter, with occupancy rates predicted to reach up to 95% across the city’s luxurious resorts and beachside guesthouses. Of course, the actual figures can be much higher, and those planning on visiting are urged to make a decision faster.
During summer, Cancun came really close to selling out again, prompting hotel fares to rise dramatically and potential guests to book out the few remaining options then. This trend is about to be repeated in the coming season, especially now that health concerns have become a thing of the past and sun-seeking Americans are heading en masse to the nearest airport.
But what exactly do the figures tell us, and how busy can we expect Cancun to be this January?
Cancun Will Be Busier Than Ever This Year
Cancun and the entire Mexican Caribbean have historically been the number one winter destination for the U.S. market. By far and away, the best season to visit, when sargassum seaweed has vanished completely from the coast and temperatures reach a pleasant 86°F, winter sees tourism peak, usually between late November and late March.
Prior to the pandemic, the resort strip known as the Hotel Zone was famously packed with beachgoers, a majority of them hailing from the United States. Although Cancun never turned into a ghost town like its fellow competitors in Latin America in the wake of Covid, mainly due to the fact it never shut down, its growth did slow down moderately for two years.
However, with normality reinstated, not only is Cancun keeping up momentum, it is due to shatter every imaginable record by hosting close to 10 million guests in one season – more than the previous all-time high of 2019, and certainly a much higher figure than the 2020 and 2021 lows. According to Julián Balbuena, a member of the National Tourism Business Council, occupancy should reach between 90% and 95%.
In Balbuena’s view, this speaks of the success Cancun has achieved and the fact Cancun is perceived as the entry point into the wider Riviera Maya, serving other smaller vacation hubs in the area, such as Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Right now, it is part of Mexico’s official triad of world-class destinations, alongside Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta.
This is certainly good news for the tourism sector, which is set to reap the most rewards, but it can also be interpreted as a warning sign to both those who have yet to book their vacations or who are wary of overcrowded beaches. When it comes to the first group, there is only one thing left to be done: securing their spot in the sun with urgency.
The Right Time To Book A Trip To Cancun Is Right Now
In this article, we have listed up to 8 all-inclusive resorts in Cancun priced under US$4,000 this winter – more specifically, the period between January 6 and 13, one of the busiest weeks of the season. Similarly to flight trends, the longer you wait to get a room, the more difficult it will be to find one, and perhaps extortionately expensive.
At 95% occupancy, prices for remaining rooms can fluctuate, and any potential guests waiting for last-minute deals that may, or may not, come about are usually the ones whose wallets are hit the hardest in the end. As Scott Keyes from Scott’s Cheap Flights noted, vacation packages should be purchased several months preceding the high season:
When he was quoted back in the summer, the travel deal expert reiterated booking winter vacations ahead of time is the smartest move. He referred specifically to flights, but the same logic applies to hotels: ‘When are swimsuits on sale? In the winter. When are coats on sale? In the summer. It’s the same idea with winter holiday flights‘.
We’re in the fall now, and the clock keeps ticking.
Overall, winter is going be the hottest time of the year for the Caribbean: much like Cancun, its traditional rival Punta Cana is set to welcome a record number of guests. Similarly, the insular nation of Jamaica has entered a new golden age, sweeping the Travel Awards in the fall and experiencing a strong post-crisis recovery.
If those turquoise-blue waters and the relaxed, tropical atmosphere are non-negotiable for you, the time to act is now.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com