Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger

A robust development pipeline for the Mexican Caribbean might be pointing to a rebound in the destination. According to a July report in STR, the Yucatan Peninsula saw the steepest declines in Q2 occupancy, but STR is also reporting that development across Mexico is higher than last year, with a 33.9% year-over-year increase in the number of rooms in the development pipeline. Add to this new airlift, a new cruise port and new festivals, and Quintana Roo is positioning itself for a very different start to 2020.

This month American Airlines has relaunched its five weekly flights from Miami to Cozumel, in anticipation of growth in the region due to increasing demand, which is a good sign considering the rocky start that the Cancun region had in the beginning of 2019. But American Airlines is not the only carrier to increase the number of seats.

"In November there will be a new route in charge of Southwest. It will be from Houston to Cozumel, and it will strengthen the arrival of U.S. visitors to the island and will help to recover them," said Dario Flota Ocampo, director of the Quintana Roo Tourism Board. "Main airlines from the U.S. have announced a growing number of available seats to Cancun starting next December as they see an increase in the demand to fly to Cancun that can be the start of this rebound," he continued.

Also interesting to note: This month Interjet is growing its Cancun connectivity with destinations on Mexico's west coast. In the past it was most common for anyone flying east to west in Mexico (or vice versa) had to connect through Mexico City. But Interjet will be connecting Cancun with direct flights to and from Acapulco and Oaxaca. Flota Ocampo suggests that this is a way to connect with more visitors and to make travel across the country more accessible to visitors.

"Domestic travelers are the priority for this new route, but we are pretty sure that it can be a new travel trend because there are some visitors who stay for certain days in Oaxaca and Acapulco and they would like to end their trip in Quintana Roo, so they can extend their stay," he told Travel Weekly.

Quintana Roo will also be highlighting its cultural heritage with the start of Artober, a calendar of events focused on highlighting the culture of the region. The program was developed to showcase the richness of Quintana Roo's culture.

For example, the site Mayan cultural site, Tihosuco, has just been officially declared a historic zone, which will preserve and promote the area's Mayan heritage for future generations to experience. 

Puerto Morelos is also going to be a new cruise port for small ships. The small fishing village between Cancun and Playa del Carmen will welcome cruises from Vidanta and Le Ponant in November. The port has restrictions for larger cruise ships, but small ships can now add this destination to their routes.

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