Hoteliers in the Mexican Caribbean seek to recover Canadian tourism, taking advantage of the fact that travel restrictions due to the pandemic have recently been lifted. The Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) is carrying out the "Operation Knock on Doors" tour in that country.
Jesús Almaguer Salazar, president of the Hotel Association of Cancun, Puerto Morelos, and Isla Mujeres, emphasized the importance of this effort for next year's winter season.
The executive said that there is still time to get "something" for the Christmas season, "although the most important will be for December, January, and part of February 2024," he said.
The tour brought together 40 tour operators. Miguel Torruco Marques, Secretary of Tourism, explained the importance of Canada for Mexico, as it is the second largest tourist destination for Mexico.
Torruco Marquez emphasized that Canada is the second market for Mexico since, in 2019, it reported 2 million tourists by air from the northern country, with a tourist expenditure of 2,313 million. From January to July, 945,575 travelers arrived in Mexico by air, with a record of 1,69 million. That is, 31 percent less in expenditure and 37 percent less in tourists than in the same period three years ago.
With the pandemic, tourists from the United States became Quintana Roo's most important market. However, opening other international destinations has reflected an 8 percent drop in the first semester compared to the same period in 2021.
According to the Center for Tourism Research and Competitiveness (Cicotur), the increase in competition with the opening and elimination of requirements by COVID-19 from other places in the world has caused the volume of American travelers to be decreasing towards Mexican Caribbean destinations. It went from capturing 39.1 percent of international travelers in 2021 to 25.5 percent in the first semester of this year.
During the pandemic, Mexican Caribbean destinations attracted tourism called "borrowed," as reiterated by Francisco Madrid Flores, director of Cicotur, during the "Rethinking Tourism" forum. Likewise, Madrid warned since August about losing at least 1.4 percent of this market. In addition, months of increased competition are projected.
However, air connectivity with the United States is with 39 cities, which allows the arrival of 3.5 million visitors, making it the primary market, according to data from the Tourism Promotion Council of Quintana Roo.
Mexico's tourism sector sees an excellent threat in opening other destinations that had been restricted by COVID-19. The fear will cause the volume of tourists to decrease, more so when promotion in Mexico has gone down, as claimed at the time Gonzalo del Peon, president for the Americas of AMResorts to the administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO).
"It has affected us (the lack of promotion). We can see areas where we miss an instrument that coordinates the promotion of destinations. In Riviera Maya, there is great air capacity. Even the government could say: "Nothing happened. We canceled the Promotion Council, and we are better than ever, and they hang their medals. Yes, but go to Acapulco or Ixtapa, and the reality is different," said del Peón at the time, during the Inter.Mx Expansion Summit 2022.
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