Cancun will end the year with record tourist arrivals

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The highly optimistic forecast for the number of tourist arrivals in the Cancun area for 2023 just turned out to be insufficient for the year.

Instead of 20.5 million tourists as originally projected for this year, Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean will instead exceed more than 21 million visitors to the seaside resort tourist hotspot.

Partnership for success

Playa Paraiso, Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico

Quintana Roo’s Secretary of Tourism, Bernardo Cueto Riestra, is absolutely delighted with the number of travelers who share his paradise by visiting the beautiful Mexican Caribbean destination.

“Quintana Roo has benefited from the arrival of visitors this year, which will make us break tourism records again,” said Secretary Cueto Riestra.

He cited the close relationship the tourism department has with the private sector, such as airlines and resort hotels, for the success of welcoming more travelers to Cancun and the state of Quintana Roo.

An American Airlines plane at Cancun International Airport

One of the programs that was put in place to create a close relationship between the private and public sectors was the development of an Advisory Council that includes tourism-focused businesses in the area and the Tourism Promotion Council.

A balanced mix of travelers

The majority of travelers to Cancun and the state of Quintana Roo come from international tourism markets.

They originally expected more than 13 million passengers to come from international destinations, with the majority coming from the United States.

Beach in Tulum

An additional 7 million visitors are expected to travel to the region from other parts of Mexico to enjoy their beach vacation getaways.

However, forecasts at the end of 2022 did not foresee the grand opening of the new international airport in Tulum.

However, this airport will not officially open to international arrivals until next year.

They also forecast average occupancy in Cancun and Quintana Roo state of 70 percent for the entire year. That number is actually up slightly for the year.

Cancun hotel zone with calm sea and resorts in sunny morning

Plans for 2024

In 2024, Cancun tourism officials plan to maintain their level of promotion and advertising, but instead make a small change in the messages delivered to potential visitors.

They plan to use the opening of two new transportation options—the Maya train and the Tulum International Airport—to create excitement among travelers to visit the area and see the new amenities available to tourists.

a view from inside the terminal at Cancun International Airport

Plans are also underway to increase the number of tourists visiting the area from Europe in addition to international travelers from the United States and Mexico’s domestic markets.

While the numbers from Cancun International Airport may total 30 million passengers this year, it should be noted that some of these passengers may have stayed in regions outside of Cancun and the state of Quintana Roo, and others may have been transit passengers to other areas of Mexico.

Key details for tourists

Aerial view of the stunning resort of Cancun

Travelers to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean can expect an increase in visitors to the area and higher prices for their vacation getaways as demand for travel services in the Cancun region continues to outpace supply.

This means travelers will need to book their flights and preferred hotel rooms further in advance and anticipate higher prices, especially during the peak spring and winter holiday seasons.

Excitement surrounding the launch of the new Maya train and Tulum International Airport is already increasing demand for travel to the Cancun area and leading to increased prices and limited availability of resort hotel rooms and flights to the Mexican Caribbean.

A Maya train is being built in the Mexican Caribbean

This will even increase when direct flights to Tulum International Airport from the United States begin in March next year.

Instead, budget-minded travelers will need to travel during the off-season months or potentially travel to lower-cost areas, such as the recent increase in travelers to areas such as Mérida.

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