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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Mexico seeks to speed up tourist screening at Cancún airport

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Mexico is already one of the most visited countries in the world, but tourism authorities say it can do even better. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Authorities in Quintana Roo say they are working with the federal government to streamline border control at Cancún’s international airport. 

The announcement was made by Bernardo Cueto Riesta, Quintana Roo’s new tourism secretary, who highlighted the importance of both security and efficiency. 

“With the right policies and protocols in place it is possible to expedite the process in a way that offers better service but also keeps our country safe,” said Cueto Riesta.

According to Mexico’s immigration office, International flights to Cancún in 2021 considerably surpassed arrivals recorded in 2019, before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But opponents of the proposed measures note that more relaxed policies are likely to be abused by people with criminal intent. 

This point is made particularly salient by the recent increase in shootings in Cancún, as well as other nearby tourist destinations such as Playa del Carmen.

Earlier: Marines to take over security at Mérida and Cancún airports

One of the issues being discussed includes the possibility of granting all visitors to Mexico a permit to remain up to 30 days in the country. 

Currently, visitors to Mexico may receive permission to stay up to 180 days but oftentimes are only granted permission to stay 10. The allowed duration of each foreigner’s stay is up to the discretion of border agents.  

Though it is possible to get tourist visas extended, the process is inconvenient. Furthermore, many visitors don’t even realize they have extended their stay until they are ready to leave the country. 

In 2021, Mexico became the fifth most-visited country in the world, and Cancún the most popular tourist destination in all of Latin America and the Caribbean. 

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