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Large increase in Mérida tourists so far this year

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Merida tourists
Foreign tourists came in increasing numbers to Mérida in the first three months of the year. Germans outnumbered U.S. and French visitors. Photo: Handout

More tourists visited Mérida and the Yucatán in the first quarter of the year, reports an association of Yucatán hotels.

The report also breaks down where tourists are arriving from, and why they are here. It also indicated a three-year run of nearly uniform tourism growth, often in double-digits, throughout the state — with one notable exception.

By the numbers

Visitors to Mérida increased 14 percent over the same time last year, and hotel occupancy throughout the state grew by 6.4 percent, said spokesman Ricardo Dájer Nahum. Hotels in Mérida proper did even better, increasing their occupancy rate by 8.15 percent — filling 63.2 percent of their rooms, on average.

Seventy-two hotels, with a combined 3,000 rooms, were surveyed.

More numbers from the survey:

  • Eighty-five percent of visitors are inside the country, particularly Mexico City.
  • Most domestic tourists arrive for health affairs or business rather than for recreational purposes.
  • Among foreign visitors, Germany, the United States and France were represented most, in that order, followed by Canada, Italy and Spain. Asian visitors represent a small minority of tourists.

Uxmal vs. Chichén Itzá

Focusing just on visitor numbers, growth was reported throughout the state, with one exception. For an unknown reason, the well-regarded archeological site Uxmal recorded a decline in visitors. January numbers improved by 9.17 percent, but fell by 6.75 percent in February, and tumbled further in March by 11.55 percent.

The opposite occurred in its more touristy cousin, Chichén Itzá, which is closer to Cancún. January numbers rose 24.20 percent, 2.24 percent in February and 21.21 percent in March.

Valladolid also did well: up 1.97 percent, 10.26 percent and 39.8 percent, respectively.

Statistics from the Mexican Chamber of Yucatán Hotels shows that the arrival of visitors has been growing since 2013, which was considered an off year for the state’s tourism sector.


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