Mérida on top of Travel & Leisure survey, good news after losing Atlanta flights

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Mérida, Yucatán — A Travel & Leisure magazine reader survey places Yucatán’s capital in an elite list of Top 5 Mexican destinations.

Mérida is No. 4 in a list led by San Miguel de Allende, followed by Oaxaca and Mexico City. Scoring just behind the White City is Guadalajara.

Travel & Leisure notes that politics may have placed a wedge between the U.S. and Mexico, but “our southern neighbor never ceases to fascinate travelers.”

In the past year tourism to Mexico has increased by 12 percent. Mérida’s boost was even greater in 2017 when the city was named the American Capital of Culture, “a tribute to its busy roster of musical and artistic events, as well as its impressive museums, including Gran Museo del Mundo Maya; the city is also close to fascinating archaeological sites.”

The good news follows a shock: the recent abrupt cancellation of a direct air route with Atlanta. A disappointed Armando Cazares Espinosa, president of the state Association of Travel Agents, said the Delta-Aeroméxico route was not given enough time to catch on.

The Atlanta-Mérida route began Dec. 1 and will end Aug. 15.

With Atlanta such a major hub, it would have been a natural route for European travelers wishing to reach Yucatán, he lamented.

While the air route was launched with great fanfare, it was canceled discretely. The decision was first reported here after a tipoff from a reader who followed murmurs from disgruntled passengers on social media.

A state tourism official blamed the airlines for scheduling flights in the afternoon, forcing intercontinental flyers to spend the night in the city if they wished to catch a morning connection.

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