More tourists are coming to the Yucatán Peninsula this year. Well over a million more than last year, in fact.
The 16.5 percent bump-up through August compares favorably with the rest of Mexico, which logged an 8.55 percent increase in visitors.
Looking at beach tourism alone, the number gets even better.
One big resort still gets the lion’s share of tourists. Of 9.6 million visitors to the peninsula, 4.5 million of them were Cancun’s. Much smaller Cozumel had far fewer visitors, but each destination can brag of a roughly 43 percent increase in tourists.
That success was offset among beach resorts by the gated community Playacar, which saw an unexplained 30.33 percent decline. Other destinations, such as Playa del Carmen and Akumal, held flat.
City numbers were also a drag on the peninsula’s average. The government report compared beaches in Quintana Roo with historic Mérida and Campeche. Mérida saw a decline of 19,336 people or 2.5 percent; Campeche, which draws roughly a quarter of Mérida’s tourist trade, lost 24,439 visitors, an 11.23 drop, according to the government report. (See chart below.)
These are official tourist statistics with an eye on key areas, and real numbers would be even higher. Beach towns along the Gulf of Mexico, like Chelem or Chicxulub, and alternative expat cities such as Valladolid, were not mentioned in the report. The report also did not report revenue figures, or if tourists were spending more or less on average.
The report counts both domestic and international travelers. Most city tourists are domestic travelers, while the beach resorts are more mixed.
Here is how official numbers look so far this year:
Tourists in the Yucatán Peninsula
(First eight months of 2014)
|Beach resorts||2013||2014||Variance||% Change|
|Playa del Carmen||490,821||498,948||8,127||1.66|
Source: Mexican Ministry of Tourism