Travel agencies for Cancun, Riviera Maya have seen sharp increase
Over the past three years, the Mexican Association of Travel Agencies (AMAV) says they have seen a 60 percent increase in travel agencies for Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Many of the new travel agencies are virtual, in that they are online, however, there are many new brick and mortar businesses as well.
AMAV says that although not every travel agency is registered with them, about 80 percent of the agencies are affiliated with them and that those affiliated travel companies are responsible for handling the bulk of local tourism, according to AMAV president, Sergio Gonzalez Rubiera.
“There is a growing presence of online agencies and little by little they are affiliating with us,” he said.
Agencies like BestDay, Olympus, Lomas Travel and Nexus are the ones handling the bulk of tourists who make their way to Cancun and Riviera Maya, but there are many more who purchase their vacation packages through lesser-known agencies.
Gonzalez Rubiera warns for people to exercise caution when buying their tickets or vacation packages from unknown online travel agencies. He says in recent weeks there have been a few cases of people being cheated by virtual agencies.
He explained that those virtual agencies were fraudsters who created a website posing as a real business. They offered tours and vacation packages at very low prices, claiming a few vacation victims. He says that these types of places are very hard to punish because they are virtual and without a physical address.
Officials for the state of Quintana Roo are anticipating an extremely successful tourist season this year based off the number of reservations for the upcoming holiday season. Reports are already showing a more than 50 percent reservation rate for hotels in Cancun and the Riviera Maya into the last week of December and into the first week of January.
Even the Port Authority of Quintana Roo is reporting an increase of cruise ships to Cozumel by 7 percent over this same time last year.