Carnival Corp.,which is the world’s largest cruise line,has announced plans to invest $150 million in port infrastructure near Cozumel,Mexico. The development will take place along Mexico’s Pacific and Caribbean coasts and includes a major cruise ship terminal at Calica located only six miles from Playa del Carmen and halfway between Playa and Puerto Aventuras.
Situated on the mainland near Cozumel,the port at Calica has traditionally been used to export limestone from the region,but will now be transformed into a gorgeous destination for tourists and stopping point for Carnival cruises. The new developments are expected to provide a major boost for Playa del Carmen real estate,Cozumel and Puerto Aventuras,and fit nicely with president Felipe Calderon’s 2012 Mundo Maya campaign,with the overarching goal of helping Mexico become the world’s fifth largest tourist destination by the year 2018.
In fact,president Calderon was on hand for the signing of the investment contract in Cozumel this week,along with Gerard Cahill,Carnival’s president and CEO,and Mexico’s secretary of tourism,Gloria Guevara.
“Mexico is an attractive destination for the development of tourist business and an important partner for Cozumel,” stated Cahill.
Mexico is currently the number one destination in the world for cruise ship travelers,with more than 800,000 cruise ships and 5 million visitors docking here in 2011,adding more than $500 million to the economy. In addition,the nearby vacation hotspot of Cancun and the adjacent Riviera Maya are responsible for at least 70% of the country’s tourism.
“The main shipping companies in the world believe in Mexico and are willing to invest resources in our country which will multiply the number of arrivals and passengers,” stated Guevara at the recent Cruise Shipping Miami 2012 trade show and conference. “Every year more than five million visitors dock at Mexico’s luxurious ports of call to experience our rich culture,climate,beaches and UNESCO World Heritage listed offerings.”
Hard Rock Hotels also has plans to build a new casino nearby,and hotel occupancy in the region is fantastic,hitting more than 80% over the past year. In addition,a new international airport is planned for Tulum,which lies just over an hour south of Cancun and just over 30 miles from Cozumel.