Cancun has once again defied all odds by setting a new all time passenger record for September. The resort city of Cancun is expected to get even busier for the upcoming high season as the entire state of Quintana Roo was downgraded to ‘Green’ which means very low risk of contracting Covid-19. With record setting tourist arrivals, travelers considering booking their winter getaway in Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum may want to do so now before prices skyrocket and vacancy disappears.
Cancun Sets September Tourist Record
According to ASUR (the airport’s managing company), over 1.61 million tourists arrived at Cancun’s international airport in September 2021. This was almost a 5% increase from the busiest September recorded back in 2019 when 1.59 tourists were recorded.
Cancun’s Mayor, Mara Lezama confirmed that last month was the busiest September ever for Cancun.
“Cancun is well on its way to a full economic recovery after the hardships of the global Covid-19 pandemic. The eyes of the world are on this land of hope and proof of this is in this assessment,” the Mayor stated.
“We are doing very well, let’s continue with the care and respect of sanitary measures to attract more potential clients and visitors.”
So far in 2021, Cancun has received over 9 million international visitors with the majority coming from the United States. The busiest month recorded in 2021 was July with almost 2.4 million passengers. It’s important to note while the majority of tourists are staying at resorts in and around Cancun, nearby Playa Del Carmen and Tulum continue to draw a large number of visitors.
Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum Downgraded To Low Risk Green Level
Quintana Roo Governor, Carlos Joaquin announced at a press conference today that the northern region of the state will return to ‘Green’ which means the risk of contacting Covid-19 is low. This includes the tourism hotspots of Cancun, Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel.
Cases of Covid-19 dropped dramatically in all tourism centers. Cancun was down 46%, Cozumel was down 47% Playa Del Carmen was down 18% while Tulum dropped 22%.
The Governor added that hospitalizations have also dropped and occupancy of Covid-19 designated beds sits only at 10%.
Increased Occupancy Rates at Hotels and Restaurants
As of October 11th under the new green epidemiological light, hotels and restaurants will be permitted to increase their capacity levels to 80% of normal. This includes tourist attractions, malls, theme parks and golf courses.
High Demand And Record Arrivals Will Affect Tourists
With Cancun approaching its high season that runs from November through March, tourist officials are expecting over 2 million arrivals monthly in what is expected to be the busiest season ever recorded in the area.
Pent up demand, easy entry requirements and excellent connectivity with the United States will drive Cancun to the number one destination for Americans again this year.
With high demand will come higher prices for hotel rooms and flights. As resorts scrambled last year with promotions of up to 40% off during high season, travelers can expect those deals to disappear and could lead to record high prices for last minute trips. Travelers are being told to book as early as possible as many popular resorts including Le Blanc Spa resort and the Hyatt Zilara are already full for many winter dates.
Service Levels At Resorts In Cancun Will Take Time To Recover
Travelers may have to be a little more patient with resort employees this season. Cancun hoteliers are currently facing mass staff shortages as many employees who went back to their home state when the pandemic started, have not yet returned to Cancun.
This has lead to mass hiring and training in preparation for high season. Usually service at resorts in Cancun is some of the best in the world and does not suffer from high turnover. Unfortunately with a lot of relatively new staff and record breaking tourists numbers, expect things to be a little rocky as resorts streamline their operations once more.
Travel Off Path was on the ground in Cancun this past week and we witnessed first hand that the staff shortages are real. Many of the staff at the resort we were staying in appeared to be new and were running more than usual trying to keep up with high demand. It was obvious there was a staff shortage due to service levels and the number of tables or rooms employees were trying to juggle. While it didn’t cause any major problems for our stay, the resort was only at 40% occupancy.
When some of these massive resorts kick into high gear for winter, thousands of hospitality staff will need to be hired and trained to continue with the high level of service that Cancun has been known for.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories