Easter Weekend Sees Thousands More Than Anticipated
Thousands of people arrived in Cancun and places along the Riviera Maya this long Easter weekend to enjoy the local attractions. While a few tourist agencies anticipated a crowd of around 35,000, government agencies say the numbers ended up being much higher.
Nearly every hotel and hostel in the region reported being sold out with the largest numbers of visitors arriving from other parts of Mexico. The more than 35,000 hotel rooms in Cancun alone saw a near 100 percent occupancy rate with other areas reporting occupancy rates above 95 percent.
Carlos Gosselin Maurel, president of the Hotel Association of Cancun and Puerto Morelos, said that more than 50 percent of the visitors to Cancun were domestic, arriving from other states such as Veracruz, Tabasco, Michoacan, Campeche, Guerrero, Yucatan, Oaxaca, Mexico City, State of Mexico and Zacatecas.
He explained that one key to the increase in domestic travelers has been an improvement in flight connectivity. Mexican nationals traveling from places such as Toluca, Guadalajara, and Monterrey, for example, now by-pass Mexico City with direct flights to Cancun.
The impact of the high US-peso ratio also played a large factor in Mexican nationals preferring coastal Cancun and Riviera Maya destinations instead of the United States.
He also reported that parks like Xcaret, Xoximilco and shows at Moon Palace, as well as numerous other attractions in Cancun and the Riviera Maya reported being sold out.
In Playa del Carmen, an unexpected turn of events saw the Mayan Madness Electronic Music Festival move from Tulum to Mamitas Beach which drew an enormous crowd on Saturday night.
During the weekend, tourism officials reported more than 35,000 people hitting the popular Fifth Avenue shopping area in central Playa del Carmen. They say that the extension of the Fifth Avenue shopping street has helped attract the additional people, while another 15,000 took to local Playa del Carmen beaches.
The Easter spring break holiday season will last until April 4.