Notes from Travel Mart: What’s New in Cancun?
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
The Cancun Travel Mart — the annual meeting place for suppliers from the Mexican Caribbean to meet with buyers from around the world — celebrated its 28th year Oct. 12-14 at the recently remodeled and updated Cancun International Convention Center.
This year, delegates from 22 countries scheduled over 3,500 business meetings, a record-setting number that generated over $3.5 billion worth of business, according to Carlos Gosselin Maurel, president of the Cancun & Puerto Morelos Hotel Association.
“The demand created by tourists to come to Cancun during high season is actually greater than the current room offer we have,” said Maurel. Don’t let that stop you, however: Cancun currently has 173 properties offering over 35,000 rooms, but it’s expected to add another 30 more resorts within the next five years, bringing in an additional 10,000 rooms.
But what if you’re ready for that new hotel smell right now? The good news is that between new construction, rebranding and serious revamping, there’s already plenty of good stuff for you to start booking today.
Hyatt has been busy in Cancun and the Riviera this year, opening the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort earlier this summer and currently putting the finishing touches on the newest member of its family-friendly, five-star all-inclusive group: the 379-room Hyatt Ziva Cancun (formerly the Camino Real, but you’d hardly recognize it — and that’s a really good thing).
Also on the beaches of the Mexican Caribbean, AMResorts welcomed the newly built adults-only Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya, which celebrated its grand opening during the Travel Mart. This sophisticated all-inclusive resort has 434 luxury suites, some with swim-out access, set on one of the Top 10 Beaches in Mexico, according to TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards.
For lovers of more intimate boutique properties — a specialty of Cancun’s quirky beach town outpost, Playa del Carmen — there’s the new 92-room Thompson Playa del Carmen (welcoming guests starting Nov. 20), a luxury urban beach property right on the Quinta Avenida with a 30,000-square-foot happening rooftop with infinity pool and an oceanfront 27-room luxury Beach House (opening early 2016). And in the works: a new boutique hotel concept by Live Aqua that’s still under wraps but promises a stylish getaway very soon in this seaside town.
Also of interest: Secretary of Tourism Enrique de la Madrid mentioned a new hotel classification system the government entity is working on to help travelers and travel agents around the world better understand the hotel offer in Mexico. This will be in addition to ratings such as AAA and Golden Apple, helping to clear up misunderstandings around current Mexican hotel classifications such as Gran Turismo and Categoría Especial.
And a final note: Construction is already underway for a new terminal in the Cancun International Airport. Terminal 4 is projected to move between 6 and 9 million additional visitors for a total of 25 million by 2018 and a total of 32 million when finished in 2020.
More by Lydia Gregory
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