Despite Violence, Tourism Is Strong in Mexican Resort Areas



Told to exercise caution, Americans have continued to travel to the Yucatán.

Whether it was the very cold winter endured in the northern United States, or the number of deals coming from the rapidly growing destination (some 14,000 hotel rooms are currently in development), tourism has shown resiliency.

In the first quarter of 2018, hotel occupancy in Cancún stayed level with 2017 figures at a healthy 77 percent, even though the room inventory grew by 3 percent this year, according to STR, Inc., a travel research company that tracks hotel data.

Travel agencies report strong interest in the region. AAA Travel predicted that Cancún would be its most popular international destination for family travelers this year.

The deal site Travelzoo currently has packages at a luxury resort in Playa del Carmen at $529 for three nights for two people, just over half off. The site’s senior editor, Gabe Saglie, said hotel promotions have “created some amazing value south of the border, enough to get many travelers, while cognizant of security concerns and undoubtedly traveling with heightened self-awareness and vigilance, to pounce.”

Bookings are up 12 percent to Mexico over this time last year at the luxury-focused travel agency Ovation Vacations in New York, even though advisers are fielding more inquiries regarding safety.

“There’s a lot of hesitancy, but there’s resiliency,” said Jack Ezon, the owner of the agency.

Mexico likely benefited from those seeking to avoid hurricane-hit islands in the Caribbean, he said, but noted that Mexican resorts also offer strong value.

“It’s hard to find that kind of beach within three to five hours flight with that kind of service,” Mr. Ezon said.