During a recent event showcasing Quintana Roo’s strong recovery in tourism as well as its undiscovered gems, Dario Flota, director of Quintana Roo Tourism Board, noted, “The recovery is a reality.” This is great news, he stressed because nearly 86 percent of Quintana Roo’s economy relies on tourism.
He added that the U.S. has overtaken Mexico as the leading market in terms of visitors to the Mexican state and that 82 percent of all visitors hail from the U.S. and Mexico.
The region—the first in the Americas to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTCC’s) Global Safety Stamp—is certainly on a path to full recovery, with the number of passengers flying into the Mexican Caribbean during the first five months of 2022 up by 9.6 percent from the same period in 2019. And with carriers like American Airlines and Air Canada recently adding new international air routes to the region, that uplift is likely to continue throughout the rest of the year.
In fact, Flota noted that securing more flights to the region’s three international airports in Cancun, Cozumel and Chetumal is another key element of the recovery plan. There are currently 60 airlines connecting the Mexican Caribbean with 47 airports in 31 countries. “We have nonstop flights from 132 cities to Cancun,” said Flota. “We never had that before the pandemic.” He added that 44 U.S. cities now have direct links to Quintana Roo via Cancun, including New York, Miami, Dallas and Chicago. The state also has four ports, three in Cozumel and one farther south in Mahahual.
“We have nonstop flights from 132 cities to Cancun. We never had that before the pandemic.”
— Dario, Flota, director of Quintana Roo Tourism Board
Quintana Roo—with 123,000 hotel rooms welcoming your clients—boasts more than 500 miles of coastline that stretches from Isla Holbox, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea, down to the state’s capital Chetumal. With an abundance of cultural, leisure and adventure activities set within an idyllic landscape that changes from coral reefs and white-sand beaches to mangrove forests and jungles, Quintana Roo has options to suit every one of your clients’ vacation choices.
Natural beauty abounds in Quintana Roo, from its Mesoamerican Reef to its cenotes and extensive underwater cave systems. It is home to nearly 8,000 species of animals, insects, birds and mammals, including parrots, spider monkeys and manatees. “Almost one-third of the state is a protected nature area,” says Flota, noting that the Mayan jungle covers 70 percent of the state. One of the most prominent of the state’s 19 protected areas is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sian Ka’an, home to thousands of species of flora and fauna.
The state’s rich Mayan history can be explored at 10 archaeological sites, including Coba. Less visited than the ruins at nearby Tulum, visitors to Coba can explore three ancient settlements at the site along with its main pyramid, Nohoch Mul, set within the jungle.
While Cancun, Cozumel, Riviera Maya and the new celebrity favorite Tulum continue to be popular tourist destinations, there are many other cities to explore in Quintana Roo. In the north, Isla Holbox offers visitors a true dose of laid-back island life. Year-round, Holbox’s beaches become a lightshow in the evening thanks to the natural phenomenon of bioluminescence. And from June to September, visitors can get up-close and personal with the whale sharks that pass by the island during their annual migration.
Isla Mujeres, across the Bahia de Mujeres from Cancun, is one of the smallest islands in Quintana Roo. Many travelers come to the island to visit Playa Norte Beach and to snorkel and take in the colorful reefs, marine life and submerged, coral-encrusted statues that form the MUSA Underwater Sculpture Museum.
Farther south is Maya Ka’an, an eco-destination in the jungle that allows travelers to reconnect with nature. It is home to the Sian Ka’an nature reserve—a natural habitat for jaguars, tapirs and around 300 species of birds, which makes it an ideal locale for birdwatching. Visitors can navigate the canals, and follow the same commercial routes used by the Mayans as they explore the jungle by boat. After a day exploring the jungle and the Mayan ruins at Muyil, visitors can cool off in one of the area’s cenotes or try a bit of snorkeling. Travel a little further and you will find Bacalar with its famed Lagoon of Seven Colors.
For more information, visit mexicancaribbean.travel.