Considered Mexico’s main beach destination, Cancun recovered a large part of the volume of tourists it had before Covid-19 was declared a pandemic, despite the fact that some US restrictions and the suspension of Canadian flights are still in force.
Cancun airport received 1,570,000 passengers in March, of which 878,000 came from abroad and more than 692,000 were Mexican, according to the recent traffic report of Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (Asur).
This is the highest flow of travelers since February of last year, when the destination received 2 million 174 thousand tourists and the World Health Organization had not yet decreed Covid-19 as a pandemic, which led to restrictions on mobility and a general worldwide travel ban.
The airport has been receiving more international than domestic tourists for four consecutive months, despite the fact that the requirement of negative tests for Covid-19 was extended to all air passengers entering the United States as of January 26th, while since January 31st the Canadian government suspended flights with Mexico, most of these travelers use Cancun Airport Shuttle services as it is considered safer.
The arrival of tourists increased in spite of the controversies generated by some Argentinean tourists, who used false evidence to board their flight. This type of situation helped Cancun’s airport to implement improvements in its prevention measures for tourists, installing rapid coronavirus testing units, with the objective of providing more confidence and peace of mind to any traveler in Cancun, as well as contributing to the public health of Mexicans.
Another important point is that the Cancun airport has implemented safe Cancun Airport Transportation services, to guarantee all national and foreign tourists a safe and hygienic transportation, in this way tourists and the population in general were kept as safe as possible, by not sharing the means of transportation with strangers.
In a press release, Asur acknowledges that last month’s traffic benefited from four days of Holy Week, which this year took place from March 28 to April 4, while in 2020 it fell between April 5 and 12.
Analysts at Banorte acknowledge that the results exceeded their estimates. “Asur’s March passengers already presented the inflection point we expected in April,” they said. This is part of a new outlook of optimism towards international travel, in the case of Cancun, the tourist offer is maintained, and is expected to begin to normalize as part of the vulnerable population around the world are vaccinated.
“In the coming months we will observe greater growth, which may be favored by a faster pace of vaccination in the United States, which would reflect less restrictive measures for travelers and, therefore, a better performance of the company’s international traffic”, according to Banorte.
Cancun hotels averaged 39% occupancy during February, which rose to almost 50% in March and to over 60% in the first days of April, according to data from the Hotel Association of Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Isla Mujeres.
However, hotel rates in Cancun have yet to recover, falling 9.7% in the first half of March compared to the same period in 2020, and have been down for the last 12 months. Hotels in Tulum and Playa del Carmen were the favorites of national tourism, as they showed a drop in prices as never seen before, a situation that many tourists decided to take advantage of, since many of the discounts of up to 80% of the normal cost, many Cancun to Tulum shuttle companies, were very benefited and likewise abided by the measures of disinfection of their vehicles, to generate an environment of safety and confidence to all tourists.
On the other hand, the price of airline tickets to Cancun rebounded 21.2% in the same period, after three months of falling in price, while package tourism services rose 28.6%, according to Inegi. Cancun Airport Transfers services have considerably increased their demand, due to the fact that they are safer and cleaner services.
The United States is the main tourist issuing market to Mexico and the International Monetary Fund anticipates that its economy will rebound 6.4% during 2021, after falling 3.5% last year, which means that it will recover the total loss of 2020. Cancun’s tourism entrepreneurs positively expect that as the government authorizes the opening of more businesses, the influx of tourists will increase in large numbers.