Friday, January 6, 2012

Despite narco violence, Quintana Roo resorts boom - the most popular Mexican and Latin American destinations

MGRR regularly reports on organized crime violence in Mexico's Riviera Maya, also known as the Caribbean Gold Coast. There was plenty to report last year, in all the major tourist hot spots -- places like Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Isla de Mujeres. But crime concerns evidently haven't had much impact on foreign travelers. While many local businesses are feeling the pinch, mainly due to rampant extortion of commercial enterprises, it appears that most tourists know or care little of the powerful drug cartels and gangs like Los Zetas and Los Pelones.

Sources report today that more than 13 million visitors arrived in Cancún in 2011, the majority of them from Canada, the United States and Europe. The area is increasingly popular with Asian travelers, too, due to favorable currency exchange rates. The same sources say that the major Q.R. resorts have collectively become the number one tourist destination for Mexican and Latin American travelers, which is in stark contrast to the travel industry problems being experienced in most of the rest of Mexico. Riviera Maya hotels reported a 90% occupancy rate during the year-end holidays.

Industry sources say that Cozumel has become Mexico's major cruise destination, and one of the most important in the Caribbean as well, accounting for 40% of all passenger ship arrivals in the country. This in turn drives hotel and restaurant enterprises in Q.R. state. With the arrival of 2012 -- the official Mayan Cultural Year -- both government officials and business owners in Quintana Roo expect things only to get better.

Jan. 7: The Russian economic and business attaché in Mexico City predicts that as many as 40,000 of his countrymen will visit Mexico in 2012, the majority of them headed for the Riviera Maya. He also announced that a Russian aircraft manufacturer has a deal with Interjet, Mexico's low-cost airline founded in 2005, to supply it with 15, 100 passenger jets at a total price of $650 million USD. And the Royal Caribbean line has signed a "preference agreement" with Cozumel authorities. The company says that the island has become a world leader in cruise ship destinations, which it attributes to "unspoiled natural beauty, excellent security, high quality service for guests, friendliness of the local population" and harbor conditions which permit Royal Caribbean to bring in its largest cruise ships.

Former Beatle Paul McCartney likely to perform at Chichén Itzá in early 2012:
65% of Mexico "off-limits" to foreign travelers due to security concerns:
Can promotion of gay wedding industry check rising Los Zetas effect?

Read about recent Quintana Roo and Riviera Maya violence:
Two women executed in Isla de Mujeres hotel room:;
15 year old boy arrested in murder case:;
Hotel rooms empty on Isla de Mujeres:;
53 year old mother of drug hit man is found decapitated in Cancun:;
Los Zetas taking over Gold Coast:;
More deadly attacks in Quintana Roo:;
Riviera Maya narco murder:;
Chief of Tourist Police executed in Playa del Carmen:

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