Last year was a great year for tourism in Mexico and 2014 looks to continue that momentum. There is increasingly positive feedback emerging from several years of less than positive news coverage and tourism in Mexico is on its way to recovery. According to the numbers, tourism was up in 2013 as Mexico saw an increase in airport arrivals -12% in August alone! It is reported that one of the areas seeing the biggest increase is the Riviera Maya and adjacent Cozumel, located on the Yucatán Peninsula. To recap 2013, Mexico saw a debut of branded resorts and re-branding of existing hotel properties including Nizuc Resort & Spa, Secrets Puerto Los Cabos, Iberostar Playa Mita, Hyatt Zilaria Cancun (formerly The Royal Cancun), Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos (formerly Barcelo Los Cabos) Grand Residences Riviera Cancun, and Grupo Habita’s Hotel Escondido. Mexico was also happy to welcome back many cruise lines including Holland America and Norwegian Cruise to the Mazatlan port after pulling out in 2011 after concerns about safety and security.
Investments, numbers, and projects have no plans on declining in the year ahead. According to an announcement by Mexican President Enrique Pe ña Nieto, companies are planning to invest approximately $8.6 billion in tourism infrastructure over the next three years. In total, the investment will involve 176 separate projects across Mexico. Much of the amount will include constructing new hotels, refurbishing existing facilities, enhancing public spaces, improving airport infrastructure, marinas, golf courses, healthcare facilities and retirement communities. All in all, the program will extend to 27 major tourist destinations spread across 17 Mexican states. (Source). Below are some projects on the books for this year:
In Mexico City, there is a plan on the table to expand the crowded International Benito Juarez Airport in Mexico City. With air passenger traffic up 9% last year, it’s the busiest hub in all Latin America and officials say that the saturated airport keeps Mexico from having more tourism, more investment, and more business in the capital and it is something that should be resolved as soon as possible. Prospected investment in the Mexico City airport is estimated to amount to about $5 billion and construction could begin as soon this year.
Solmar Hotels & Resorts’ plans to open a third building in its Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa complex by the end of February with full completion set for May. The 43 new units will include studio, master and presidential suites and impressive two-bedroom penthouses. The new addition will also feature a Kids Club with daily activities for kids from ages 5 to 12.
Marriott International is planning to nearly double the number of its hotels in Mexico, hoping to open 20 by 2016. The brand currently has 23 hotels throughout Mexico and seven are currently in development. Within the new two years, they plan to have a Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott in Los Cabos.
Two all-inclusive Dreams resorts, Dreams Puerto Vallarta and Dreams Cancun, will convert to Hyatt Ziva brand with multimillion-dollar updates and expansions. The resorts are planned to close at the end of April for renovations with a re-launch late in the year. The Hyatt Zilara brand targets the adults-only market, while Hyatt Ziva resorts welcome families.
For more information on the future plans and strategies to increase Mexico’s tourism, check out this post: The Future Plans and Strategies for Mexico’s Tourism