While most of the world has kept their borders closed or imposed tight restrictions, the resort city of Cancun has chosen a different path. The tourism epi-center recorded over 10 million passengers from March 1, 2020 until February 28, 2021 arriving at the Cancun International Airport. The number of visitors is staggering considering the entire year was dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Accordingly, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has chosen the destination to host their first in person conference called ‘Uniting the World for Recovery.’ Here is why travelers are still flocking to Cancun and new announcements that are sure to bring even more tourists to the vacation hotspot.
Why Travelers Are Choosing Cancun
Cancun was first to almost every major tourism milestone during Covid-19. The destination has been very quick to react to the changing times and was not afraid to take risks in the face of the pandemic. Cancun was the very first destination in the world to begin actively campaigning for tourists back in May of 2020 before officially reopening for tourism on June 8th, 2020.
Shortly after Cancun received the first ever World Travel and Tourism Council ‘Safe Travels’ stamp which recognizes destinations that have adopted global standardized health and hygiene protocols so tourists can travel safer during the pandemic. Since then over 260 destinations have followed the same footsteps of Cancun and have been certified for the safe travels stamp.
Cancun was also the first destination to react when the United States implemented that proof of a negative Covid-19 test would be required for returning home. Immediately, Cancun implemented certified labs across the city and at the airport where travelers could easily get the negative antigen test they required.
Within the first week, 80% of hotels were offering the tests on-site free of charge to guests. Some resorts in Cancun even offered free 14 days stays to guests who tested positive for the virus.
Authorities in recent weeks have cracked down on unauthorized labs performing Covid-19 tests and tourists are encouraged to book testing with their hotel concierge.
Connectivity And Easy Entry Requirements
Cancun has re-established direct flights from almost every major city in the United States where over 80% of its tourists arrive from. Lead by the Director of the Tourism Promotion Council of Quintana Roo, Darío Flota Ocampo has been relentless in its quest to connect the most flights possible to the vacation destination. When Canada banned all of its flights to sunny destinations, Cancun immediately pivoted to reconnect key markets in Europe to help make up for the loss in tourism.
Americans have continued to flock to the Cancun due to Mexico’s relaxed entry requirements which only require that an online health declaration form is filled out before arrival. While many countries continued to close and reopen borders constantly changing entry requirements, Mexico has done the opposite keeping the flow of tourists coming without having to worry about testing or quarantines.
Cancun Is The Gateway To The Mexican Caribbean
While Cancun takes a lot of credit for the number of tourists arriving at its airport, many tourists move on to the ultra popular destinations of Playa Del Carmen, Isla Mujeres, Tulum and Cozumel. The Mexican Caribbean continues to explode in popularity from the trendy nightclubs and all-inclusive resorts of Cancun to the laid-back eco-chic destination of Tulum. With theme parks, pristine white sand beaches, shopping, outdoor adventure, luxury resorts, Mayan ruins, fine dining, family fun and endless tours, the Mexican Caribbean truly has something for every type of traveler.
New Maya Train Will Further Boost Tourism
The Maya Train is a new tourist train that will connect popular sites across the Yucatán Peninsula, encompassing the states of Quintana Roo, Chiapas, Yucatán, and Campeche. Construction of the project began in 2018 and is estimated to open as early as within the next two years, attracting 8,000 daily riders.
Once completed, the high-speed train system will link the famous beaches of the Riviera Maya to Mayan ruins sites, culturally-rich towns, and various tourist destinations in the Yucatán Peninsula and beyond.
Tulum Will Open Its Own International Airport
Tulum’s popularity has exploded in popularity in recent year to the point where the destination will get its own international airport. As it stands now, the only way to get to Tulum is to arrive at the Cancun International Airport and take the hour and a half drive south. Traveling to Tulum is about to become a whole lot easier as construction on its new airport will be completed by 2023.
Cancun’s Aggressive Tourism Recovery Has Paid Off
While Cancun was criticized at times from its aggressive tourism plan during the pandemic, it appears as though it has paid off. The destination did see spikes of Covid-19 but did not make headlines for being any worse than many cities in nations that had completely sealed off their borders. With vaccination roll-outs in full gear around the world, there is no doubt that Cancun will be one of the first destinations to fully recover to its pre-pandemic tourism levels.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com