Officials in Cancun predict that while the number of travelers visiting Cancun will rise for spring break, the numbers will most likely not meet or exceed pre-pandemic visitor levels.

According to Riviera Maya News, over 530 flights were reported by the Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR) on Friday, February 18, an increase in forty flights from the day before.

While the number of flights are growing, Jesús Almaguer Salazar, the President of the Cancun, Puerto Morelos & Isla Mujeres Hotel Association says they’re expecting less than the pre-pandemic levels of spring break travelers this year. His estimate is about 20,000.

“Unfortunately times are not like before when we would reach 90 or 100,000 tourists during that season. The hotels are trying to optimize the flow of tourists to have better occupancy rates,” said Almaguer Salazar, citing the pandemic as a main factor in the drop in spring break travelers, many of whom are from younger generations.

Depending on the status of the pandemic in the United States and in Quintana Roo, Cancun’s state, that number might be higher or lower.

But another factor might be of greater concern to travelers thinking of heading down to Cancun this spring break: safety. After multiple drug cartel-related shootouts on popular Cancun beaches, travelers are more concerned about the safety in the region than ever before.

On January 31, the United States Embassy in Mexico issued a special advisory for American travelers after the fatal shootings of two Canadians and a bartender the week before; not the first incidents of travelers being caught in the cross-hairs of gang-related violence in the area, which has been happening intermittently since October 2021.

In response, uniformed guardsmen as part of the Tourist Security Battalion began increasing their patrols and their presence along the Hotel Zone’s beachfront on February 7. On February 14, the Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that the Ministry of National Defense and SEMAR, the nation’s naval organization, would be taking over security operations in seven major airports in the area to reduce corruption and hasten the customs process.

It’s unclear if the new security will bring about the boost in confidence needed to promote spring break tourism among American travelers, but this, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, are going to be the biggest factors leading to less spring breakers this year.

[Read More…]