Cancun, Q. Roo — Fewer international tourists visited the resort than last year so far. It’s the first decline here in seven years.
Cancun in 2018 was deemed Latin America’s most popular city with foreign tourists.
Safety issues are finally catching up with Cancun, just as tourism promotion is dropping, experts told El Universal newspaper. The dollar-to-peso exchange rate is another factor, they said.
The Cancun airport received 1.5 million passengers in January, a year-to-year decrease of 30,000 travelers, or a 2-percent dip, reports ASUR.
It is the first decline in 81 months, since April 2012, when the terminal reported a 0.6-percent decrease of passengers from abroad.
The Cancun International Airport receives the world’s largest variety of foreign airlines. Seven of every 10 passengers it serves are international, mainly American.
Fear of cartel violence is a factor, said Gerardo Herrera of the Universidad Iberoamericana. Five people were gunned down in a bar near the tourist zone last week, and on Tuesday, two were slain in broad daylight in a more remote neighborhood. In January, 71 murders were counted in the state, mainly in Cancun.
That was 31 cases more than a year before and five times more than January 2017.
A lack of tourism promotion resulted after the federal government announced the liquidation of the Tourism Promotion Council of Mexico (CPTM) at the end of last year.
The decline is alarming to investors who have opened new resorts in Cancun, and Caribbean competition like the Dominican Republic and Cuba are opening up.