On The Ground In Cancun

Awaiting Global Travelers

Cancún began seeing some renewed activity in June, when about 30 percent of hotels and resorts started reopening, according to Dario Flota Ocampo, CEO of the Quintana Roo Tourism Board.       As of this writing, Flota estimates that about 80 percent of Cancún’s hotels and resorts have reopened, although federal and state mandates currently limit hospitality operations to 30 percent occupancy in a city with more than 100,000 rooms.       Flota notes that incoming North American flights have delivered a majority of Cancún’s tourist demographic, with 100 arrivals the weekend of August 15 — 60 percent fewer than this time last year. “We have all of the North American carriers working now,” he says. “United, JetBlue, American Airlines, with an average of 45 flights from the United States every day.”       In the meantime, Flota says that the region’s tourism industry awaits the reinstatement of international flights from Europe and South America. Air France has announced its flights will begin in October, and airlines offering service from South America have indicated that flights will resume in early to mid-autumn.

Pandemic Precautions

Cancún currently engages in a local protocol certification program, recommended by the World Health Organization and the World Travel & Tourism Council. It includes guidelines for resort cleaning and sanitation procedures, social distancing, and capacity. “Any company that has to be in touch with the visitor has to adhere to those regulations,” Flota says.       Developers and their resorts are following suit. The Fives Hotels & Residences, with three resorts in Quintana Roo, modified several of its on-site food services so that guests can social distance while still enjoying the resort experience.       “We’ve implemented the option of takeout, so you can take food to your room and eat with your family without being exposed to other guests,” says Alejandro Zarfino, The Fives CEO. The resort, he says, also employs a service that delivers ingredients to guests’ suites so they can prepare their own meals without having to shop for groceries. “You can also hire, for a small amount, a chef to cook for you in your room.”

Closer to “Normal”

Flota anticipates that health officials will soon raise occupancy limits to 60 percent — closer to Cancún’s annual 80 to 81 percent over the last three years.

      “Once South Americans and Europeans start coming, we’re expecting to close the year with that average,” he says. “I think that for the next season, having North Americans and Canadians already coming, we’ll be raising that number and getting back to normal in 2021.

Travel Industry Partners to Inspire Americans to Plan a Trip

For some time, we’ve touted the health benefits of taking vacations, but now there’s support that just thinking about and planning a trip promotes well being. And the U.S. travel industry is marketing these findings in the “Let’s Go There” campaign.        The message, the result of an industry wide collaboration of more than 75 businesses and organizations, is that it’s beneficial just to think about a future trip — and that whenever travelers are ready to actually take the trip, the industry will be ready to safely welcome them back.       According to new polling conducted by the Institute for Applied Positive Research, 97 percent of the respondents say that having a trip planned makes them happier, and 96 percent report that getting to travel and feeling safe while doing so brings peace of mind.       “The ‘Let’s Go There’ campaign aims to tell travelers: When it’s time for you, we’ll be ready,” says U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow, whose organization is supporting the activities of the coalition. “There is pleasure in planning travel, and when the moment is right, the industry is committed to being well-prepared for the safe return of travelers.”

Credits – Vacation Industry Review – September 2020

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