According to Hotel News Now: INTERNATIONAL REPORT—Numbers are actually up along the Riviera Maya, in contrast to the rest of Mexico.
“We are actually 25% ahead of last year,” said Jack Perlman, who owns Condo Hotels Playa del Carmen, a collection of condo-hotel properties on and off Playa’s beachfront. “People also realize how safe, statistically speaking, the Riviera Maya region is compared to any major city in the U.S.”
The Riviera Maya, or Mayan Riviera, is consistently one of the strongest performers among Mexican tourist regions. The area, found on the Eastern end of the Yucatan Peninsula, contains hot spots such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and the island of Cozumel, and houses hundreds of large resorts, many of them all-inclusive. It’s a place of pristine beaches, lush jungle, historical Mayan archeological sites and a lively (to say the least) nightlife.
Even with 545 rooms added to the supply in the past year, occupancy rates have spiked in the first quarter of 2011. According to STR, parent company of HotelNewsNow.com, year-to-date occupancy through May in the Yucatan Peninsula market is 70.6%, up 12.7% from last year. Average daily rate is up 1.3% to US$134.22, and revenue per available room is up 14.2% to US$94.71.
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“During the summer we expect to have 90% occupancy average in the destination and of course our hoteliers offer during this family travel period special packages like kids stay free, but do not offer lower prices,” said Ana Mari C. Irabien, public relations director for the Riviera Maya Tourist Promotion Office.
“The recent travel warning is an extension of the previous warning issued in September 2010,” Irabien continued. “It should be noted that the April travel advisory did not specifically include or name Riviera Maya, the state of Quintana Roo or neighboring states on the Yucatan Peninsula. The 16 Mexico states listed in the warning are all located hundreds of miles from Riviera Maya, closer to the U.S. and Mexico border¨
“It has been a challenging year for Mexico in general, but Riviera Maya has remained a favored destination among American and European travelers,” said Federico Echaiz, managing director of Maroma Resort and Spa. In 2010, approximately 22.4 million tourists visited Mexico, an increase of about 4.4%, according to the Mexico Tourism Board. Drug violence has claimed as many as 40,000 lives since 2006. A swine flu outbreak in 2009 added to the decline of tourism in the country as well, which is a $12 billion dollar a year industry.