Mexico has been named one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 countries on its new “Best in Travel 2014” list of the world’s “most unmissable destinations.” With endless miles of pristine, white sand Caribbean beaches, colorful local culture and awe-inspiring Mayan temples, its easy to see why more and more travelers are choosing Mexico for their next getaway.
“Exciting developments on the travel scene have continued, from major new Maya museums in Cancun and Merida, to the installation of Latin America’s longest ziplines on the rim of the awe-inspiring Copper Canyon,” writes Lonely Planet. “Now Mexico’s image is on the cusp of change – it’s time to dust off your Mexican dream again and enjoy it to the max before those prices go up and the crowds really start rolling in.”
Mexico was also named one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 countries on its new “Best Value Destinations 2014” list, and the Bikini Bootcamp fitness program in the Riviera Maya’s ancient town of Tulum made the cut for the top 10 “World’s Best Luxury Boot Camps.” Not far away, the Yucatan Peninsula’s Cave of Swallows, or Sótano de las Golondrinas, made the list of the world’s top 10 “Sights to Make You Feel Small.” This dramatic cenote (underground limestone cavern) is the second largest in the world, plunging around 400 meters down below the jungle floor – which is large enough to swallow the Empire State Building!
If January has been any indication of what tourism in Mexico will look like in 2014, Lonely Planet’s prediction is already ringing true. The Cancun Convention and Visitors Board reported late last week that Cancun has been the “undisputed leading tourist destination” in January, maintaining an impressive 90 percent hotel occupancy rate, which is close to 10 percent higher than the numbers reported during the same period in 2013. According to the report,U.S. and Canadian visitors continue to make up the majority of visitors, however the number of domestic travelers and visitors from both Europe and South America has also increased substantially.
Looking back, 2013 was also an excellent year for tourism in Mexico, however, with many hotels and resorts reporting record occupancy rates. For example, Sunset World Resorts & Vacation Experiences reported an average occupancy rate of a whopping 85 percent throughout 2013 at its properties in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. In addition, the respected online travel referral service and USA Today affiliate Tripology named Mexico one of its top three destinations according to actual bookings.