Yucatan breaks tourist arrivals record
The state of Yucatán had a very successful 2019, welcoming 3.2 million-plus visitors, including 2.8 million air passengers (up 13.8%) and 400,000-plus cruise passengers at the Port of Progreso
Tourism in Mexico undoubtedly experienced radical change in 2019 but the state of Yucatán demonstrated an ability to cope, adapt and evolve for the benefit of local tourism and travel interests, in no small part thanks to the unequaled beauty of its attractions. The state thus placed itself among visitors’ favorite places in Mexico, and capital city Mérida even ranked among the most searched destinations for 2020.
Thanks to its archaeological and natural jewels, as well as a wide range of cultural events and tourist attractions, Yucatán ranked fourth nationally as the Mexican destination with the highest rate of growth in overnight tourists from January through August last year. The state placed eighth, overall, in terms of total tourist arrivals nationwide.
The Ministry of Tourism Development (SEFOTUR) for Yucatan facilitated improvements to the states cruise ports, including upgrades to infrastructure, tourism activities, services and training. From January to December 2019, 470,418 maritime arrivals were recorded, which translated to an economic gain estimated at $18,820,550 Pesos, or around US$998,693.
The Meetings, Events and Incentives (MICE) segment, meanwhile, registered a total 122,733 participants in the state from January to December — a 46.9% jump compared to 83,542 registered participants in the same period of 2018. It is important to note that a total of 228 congress and convention events were held in Mérida during the period.
The International Airport in Mérida handled 2,790,649 passengers from January through December, an increase of 13.8% compared to 2018. This is the result of an increase in connections, with six new national routes between Mérida and other main Mexican hubs with connections to other countries, according to data from the national DATATUR system.
DATATUR data for the same period regarding overnight stays in the state’s main tourist centers showed an increase of 15% compared to the same period of 2018, totaling 2,045,123 visitors. The average hotel occupancy rate reached 55.5%, that is, 0.5 percentage points above the 55% rate observed in the same period of 2018.
The sector in 2019 generated an estimated economic gain to the state of $8,264,900 pesos (approx. US$438,570), representing an increase of 17.13% over the same period of 2018.
Another notable achievement in 2019 was Yucatán capturing more than 11 billion pesos (some US$584 million) in private tourism investment in hotels, restaurants and various other establishments, as announced by Governor Mauricio Vila, not only in the capital but across the entire state.
The city of Valladolid on found itself on the radar of travelers, posting growth in arrivals of 45.8%, which represented an increase of 7.5 percentage points in relation to the same month of 2018 (38.3%). Other cities that also had significant increases were Chichen Itza, with 62.6%; Uxmal, with 29.4%; and Izamal, with 50%.
Yucatán continues to strongly position itself as the best tourist destination in Mexico, with total tourist arrivals to the state exceeding the stated goal of more than 3.2 million visitors in 2019.