A state of 11 municipalities and about 1.3 million people, Quintana Roo’s most famous destinations include household names: Cancun, Cozumel and Tulum.
But what about Holbox, Bacalar and Mahahual?
The state’s newly created Tourism Promotion Council is charged with promoting many of the Yucatán’s Peninsula’s lesser-known destinations. And he seems to understand that some sites are more primed for growth than others.
Darío Flota, the newly appointed head of the state’s Tourism Promotion Council, spoke with a travel reporter about the challenge.
“If there’s anyone who can put places like Holbox on the map with tourists, it is Flota,” a reporter from TravelPulse said of the former director of the Promotion Trust of the Riviera Maya and Cozumel, “a position in which he was lauded for his great success.”
Appointed by the governor, Flota is responsible for developing strategies to promote each of Quintana Roo’s tourist-friendly destinations. That effort will involve developing identities for numerous cities, towns and island communities and establishing their presence on social networks—all of which will be managed by Flota’s new office and a staff of about 30 people.
“The challenge is to try to put in order all of the actions necessary to achieve the kind of success we have in Cancun and Riveria Maya,” Flota said. “We have been working on plans for every destination to identify their main attractions and the key differences between them and the others, trying to identify who would be interested in visiting those destinations.”
Flota also pointed out that some of the communities are ecologically fragile and not be able to accommodate more crowds.
Its 1,200 or so hotel rooms are primarily in small hotels with about 30 guest rooms apiece. That is not likely to change because of the limited infrastructure and fragility of the island, said Flota.
But Chetumal, the state capital, has room to grow. It has an impressive, modern convention center and lots of good food, he said. Its 4,000 hotel rooms will likely increase in the coming years.
The number of hotel rooms in the state is exploding. Quintana Roo has about 100,000 hotel rooms, with 30,000 more coming in the next 10 years, the Tourism Council calculates.
“I think that’s proof of the confidence investors have in this area,” said Flota.
Despite rising violence in some spots, the state closed 2017 with an 83 percent occupancy rate.