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Cancun holidays lead the way for Mexico's tourism success in 2012

The lure of Cancun holidays, and other top Mexican destinations, led to a record breaking year for the country's tourism sector last year. On the back of 2011's success, local officials and experts are confident of an equally, if not more, successful 2012

Cancun holidays lead the way for Mexico's tourism success in 2012

The Mexican Ministry of Tourism recently announced that they welcomed 22.67 million international holidaymakers in 2011. The astonishing figures have broken the record of 23 million previously set in 2008. “We are overjoyed that Mexico has broken our longstanding record with regard to international visitation…these figures clearly demonstrate that the bold diversification strategy we have implemented, promoting a broad tourism offering and targeting an expanded breed of global consumer, is succeeding” noted Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, Chief Operating Officer of the Mexican Tourism Board.

Mexico attracted holidaymakers from across the globe, with increases in the number of visitors from Brazil, Russia, China, Colombia, Italy Australia, United Kingdom, France, Japan and Canada. The United States continued to be one of the most important source markets for Mexican tourism with many spring-breakers still heading to Cancun holidays as their favourite destination for relaxing and non-stop partying along Cancun's famous nightclubs and entertainment venues. Despite the fact that the number of Americans booking international holidays decreased in 2011 compared to 2010, the number of Americans travelling to Mexico grew from 14.1 per cent to 15 per cent in 2011. Undoubtedly, the bear 200 000 students who book their annual spring break holidays in Cancun have contributed significantly to these figures.

 Riviera Maya Beach
Image by:, on Flickr

The results not only demonstrate the timeless appeal of Cancun holidays, one of Mexico’s most popular destinations, but it also is an indication that international holidaymakers have not been fazed by reports of drug-related violence in Mexico. The April 2011 Travel Warning for Mexico put out by the U.S. State Department has been replaced by a new advisory released on the 8th February 2012 which now specifically states that “no advisories exist” for popular holiday destinations on Mexico's Caribbean coast. That clarification gives the all clear for holidaymakers to book their holidays in the Riviera Maya and Cancun with confidence.

 Exploring Cenotes in Mexico
Image by: Sanctuare: Private Hideaways, on Flickr

Mexico hotels in Cancun and elswhere in the country, have taken notice of the booming tourism industry with a host of hotel chains planning investments in the coming years. Intercontinental Hotels have announced a plan to erect 46 new hotels in Mexico by 2014, the Hilton has announced a 35 per cent expansion in Mexico over the coming years while the Marriott will open nine new hotels between 2012 and 2016. Following a 79 million euro acquisition and refurbishment investment, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts recently unveiled what is sure to be one of the top five-star Cancun resorts, conveniently located just 15 minutes from the Cancun Airport.

"The grand opening of the Iberostar Cancun reinforces an increase of activity and travel to Mexico as well as tourism offerings within the region. This event underscores Iberostar on-going commitment and support to Mexico” noted Gloria Guevara, Mexico’s secretary of tourism.

 Mayan Pyramid and Guard at Chichen Itza, Mexico
Image by: D200-Paul, on Flickr

Industry officials feel confident that the growth in Mexican tourism industry will continue its upward trend well into 2012 as interest in the Mayan culture has also experienced a resurgence. Given the significance of the end of the Mayan calendar in December 2012 industry insiders expect to see an increase in the number of people booking cultural holidays to Cancun to visit the sacred sites and Mayan ruins.

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